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Hugelkulture in Murrieta, CA Zone 9b by Murrieta Food Forest Volunteer Alex Monk

 
Vincent Alexander
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Hi folks! I call myself Alex Monk for fun... I built this hugel over the last couple days at a friends house. I am volunteering to help him set up a food forest, and now I've set up the facebook group Murrieta Food Forest Volunteers and Murrieta Permaculture so if you are in the area please join! Maybe we'll practice some permaculture together soon!

Here are some videos I made while I was building the hugel... I will post photos too. I hope you guys can show me my mistakes, and make suggestions for improvements in the future. Thanks! This is practically my first hugel so... iive and learn aye?? I feel pretty proud of the way it's turning out. We'll see how it performs!

http://youtu.be/DAhKHCLLMxs
http://youtu.be/hdazA4JFhQM
http://youtu.be/C2X6KxrrK4U
http://youtu.be/E4_29mY5epc
http://youtu.be/b1__ntIMsI8
http://youtu.be/WlogbGZsIEY

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Finished Hugel
 
Vincent Alexander
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Here are a few more pics.
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Second Hugel still open
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Swale spilling into hugel.
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swales catching water and dumping excess into large "reservoir" swale
 
Vincent Alexander
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more pics
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dumping leaves on acacia sicks
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Lower level of wood. pine?
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Pallet and Acacia branches
 
Vincent Alexander
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more pics
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Empty. first few logs. Pepper Tree? Hope not...
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The second one is still open. Am I filling it up right?
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View of the site and piles. Yep we chipped that all out with the pick axe
 
Vincent Alexander
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BUMP. Anyone wanna check out my design here and talk hugel? Where da permies at
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I would recommend sunken hugelkulture and not raised bed hugelkulture for Cali and other semi-arid/arid locations.
 
Vincent Alexander
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Realllly? Where can I read more about sunken hugelkultur in arid climates? Is there a thread on this? I dug down about 1.5 feet to begin with, so what kind of results can I expect?
 
James Colbert
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I am in Sacramento. Those beds should do fine even if they are not sunken. I have made similar beds for years. Sunken beds will hold water longer but what I have been playing with is mulch pits. Dig a deep hole about three feet deep and wide. Back fill with mulch like leaves, weeds, and woodchips and cap with a thick layer of wood chips. The beds I made using this method have not been watered through over 2 months of Sacramento heat over 95. I just checked the pit a few days ago thinking that it must be time for some water. To my surprise the material under the chips is still saturated with moisture after 2 months.
 
Vincent Alexander
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Wow James! That's a great testimony man! I'm excited to see how these beds do. They ARE sunken, about 1.5 feet, and placed for the roof rain water to land right in the swale that hydrates the hugel so I think it has a god chance. I like the mulch idea... like just using wood chips and green waste and stuff. I imagine the logs and sticks wont perform very well for at least a few years till they get good decomposition. So the wood chips and mulch idea... would probably work sooner, and just maybe lack the long long term benefits.... I put a bunch of leaf litter (decomposed acacia ground cover leaf) in this one so hopefully that works as well as yours does. Here in Murrieta, it stops raining in March/April and then we don't see much rain until the first random cold front comes through in like August, Sept, Oct.. But 90% of our rain fall comes all in one monster downpour so thats why I dug down 1.5 feet, I figure I need to capture all that water in the basin and keep it down low under a lot of mulch. We'll see how this one performs, and I'll keep experimenting with other designs thanks. Excited to try your design! Hey btw, how does your hugel get hydrated?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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