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Question about suitability for vegetable marketing

 
Wullow Still
Posts: 2
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This question might apply more to permaculture in general. Assuming that interplanting is the optimal way to use hugelkultur, how practical is it if you want to sell your extra produce? The successful small-scale market gardeners that I am familiar with (e.g., J. Fortier who wrote the most recent popular book on it) have a highly regimented growing system that uses consistent soil mixes, cultivated beds, and mostly mono-cropping. Their justification is the need for efficiency and consistent, predictable quality. I have not been able to find much info on how practical hugelkultur is when it comes to harvesting and marketing a consistently good crop of particular vegetables. Even if you planted only one crop on a given mound, for example, the plants might grow differently depending on whether they are down low or on top of the mound. Plus, no two mounds are exactly alike unless you use the exact same design and biomass inputs. I can see how this is most important in a CSA arrangement as opposed to just showing up at the farmer's market with whatever you have that day. How well is hugelkultur working out for those of you who sell your produce? Is the low cost of production compelling?

My situation: about an acre and a half of cleared, gently sloping land and 16 acres of forest (lotsa wood to be cleared).
 
Neal Foley
Posts: 49
Location: union Maine
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I'm interested in this too.... Which is why I planted a small, test hugel bed this year.... I've put a mix of kales, squashes, tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries, sunflowers, calendula, nasturtiums, cilantro and other herbs on it. Some of the things took right off and I have been harvesting regularly. Other things are just now coming in behind the same varieties in other spots in the garden. The sunflowers are much bigger then others around, but they were also planted weeks earlier--the hugel mound was the first thing built this spring. And now that some stuff is gaining some height I have gone back and sown some lettuces and other greens to take advantage of the shade....

I think it has great potential for a market garden situation. All the plants look much better than similar ones in other places, and that could be a function of just having a head start, or the added moisture retention. I think it's going to be a case of observe, observe, observe....
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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