I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.



uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names


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Hugel Stems... An idea requiring input.  RSS feed

Daniel Crockett
Posts: 16
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Okay. So, firstly, while I've done enough research to have thought of this, I haven't done enough to know for sure it hasn't already been thought of in some similar form under a different name. So if something like this is already out there, I mean no offense in posting this. With that said, I have a parcel of land where the top soil isn't very far from the bedrock and there is a short growing season. The Hugel Stem, as I'm calling it, is a small structure (if it qualifies as such) that I thought up to combat these two things.

A Hugel Stem is shaped sort of like a pipe tube that's been cut at an angle and is standing up. So, it is cylindrical, with one side taller than the other, with an empty middle. Like if you cut a pipe diagonally and stood it on its end. The base of the Hugel Stem is, of course, filled with wood for the hugelkulture and a mound of earth is filled in on top of it, at an angle matching the dimensions of the Hugel Stem (so it's a hill inside of a tube).

The tall end of the hugel stem features a small rainwater cachement system that drains into twin drums that are joined in the middle by a pipe for equilibrium, which also feeds a zeer-pot like drain system. You know, the clay pots that will keep the soil damp but not too damp, never over water or under water and always stay full if connected to a proper water source. The entire Hugel Stem has an outer ring for composting materials that would be harvested annually. This provides additional heat for longer growing seasons (as does the hugelkulture at the base). The lower end of the Hugel Stem is left open for a harvesting area that has an earth cement base. With the hugel mound being a hill, this should mean that most fruit should roll into this area, while also making climbing easier to get onto the mound for gardening & harvesting purposes.

The idea, of course, being to put a fruit (or other) tree in the middle of the mound with supporting plants around it. The walls of the Hugel Stem would probably have to be stone, as I can't see cob surviving it, but I think this could work.

I would love to get some feedback on this. And, again, if it turns out not to be particularly original, my apologies - but please let me know so I can look at the alternative, more proven method. Thanks.
Amit Enventres
Posts: 483
Location: Ohio, USA
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Sounds like a combination of a bunch of elements. I've seen some people combine parts of these elements, but in different ways. I'm zone 5-6 and working on a hugelkulture bed U-shapedWith the mouth South-east (It's on an east facing slope) for maximum sunlight capture. I'm going to try to also hang refractors and reflectors from an almost dead tree in the center to try to reduce bird activity aroudn my strawberries and increase sunlight. I have compacted clay old-lanw soils, but not shallow. If I had sandy shallow soils, I would probably try to direct water into the area, and clay lined pots for the water to fall into sounds like a great idea. It doesn't need to be straight, because waterways do natural meander. I guess you'd have to make sure your pot openings are smaller than your fruit It does sound like a good system. If you have a windbreak planted to not shade, but prevent snow on the area, that could help warm it and keep it warmer as well. The windbreak would then naturally capture rainfall & snow. You could then direct this water into the Hugel Stem. If you add some mulch (or timed plantings to result in mulch) over the area, then you can have an extra frost protection for seedlings. As I tell my daughter, baby plants like blinkets too.

Atleast that's my understanding. Keep it up!
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