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hugel qs: Animal shelter, height...

Posts: 732
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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I live in NW Ontario, Canada where in winter, it rarely gets warmer than -15C for 3-4 months of the year and at the coldest time, doesn't get warmer than -20C for about 3 weeks.

We live on Canadian shield which means the soil is generally shallow (a few inches deep), acidic and layered on solid bedrock which creates a very boggy landscape. As a result we have tons and tons of windfall pine which would make fantastic hugelkultur.

I've watched everything I can find about these and I haven't seen anything yet about how you harvest them.

Can I climb and clamber about on top of an 8 ft high hugelkultur? Or will it damage the humus structure and the bioactivity in the surface layers?

They'd be great for creating micro-climates here (it's generally regarded as too cold for almost all stone fruits, oak, and of course citrus) but they'd need to be big because the Arctic wind can rip through.

Has anyone experimented with building a Sepp animal shelter inside a big hugelkultur? I'm thinking about the heat that a big hugelkultur generates might help keep the animals warm in winter.

I've been considering a compost heated construction for this purpose hence my question.
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