So... I have this little project I've been cooking for a few years. The property holds 2 small dwellings, a shed, and a small orchard of aged fruit trees. We have 7 apples, 2 pears, a peach, a cherry , and a bushy plum shrub thing.
These trees had oodles of old dead wood which got my fingers twitching and in the few summers since purchasing property, I have battled and wrangled and, yesterday finally FELL off the ladder, trying to get all the dead and extra wood off the trees and into one of the three long hugel beds we are developing.
The design was issued by the reigning patriarch and is an uneven alignment of straight lines which He believes will make best use of the sometimes torrential rains this region enjoys. I favor round shapes, but initial trenches were dug and filled with large hewn trunk bits before I got there this year, so I just went with it.
Neighbors pass by and gaze but reveal nothing of their reactions. Probably for the best as I am a rainbow haired 31 year old tomboy living in a Mormon town of 35 residents. The Patriarch is the one they speak to and who will field their compliments and critiques. I know they will enjoy the wilflowers and the added "green" we are bringing to the neighborhood. I've also noticed already the insect tribes beginning to map out new habitat in the matrix of branches which is about half done.
This has been one of my most epic projects to date and so I want to provide photos of how the berms were built and then in the future, our planting results and observations.
We found an abundance of scrap wood and a shortage of hands to move it. So most of what's inside, like 99% , is untreated raw tree bits from the property. I wasn't here for part of the process or I would have had them throw in treated scrap lumber as well. Maybe I am insane for thinking that way, but I see it as a necessary evil...
Anyway, after 2 runs of pruning and piling up wood, there remain only three trees with major trimming to do. We should have a man with a truck lift box coming tomorrow. If he can't make it, I am going to give up for this year and leave the wood where it is. 40+ years of being untended, a few more won't kill anyone.
Also on the way, I am told, is a truckload of fill dirt to serve as out initial growing medium. So, the next few days should yield something that looks like an awesome garden bed, albeit a bare one. Trees, Seeds and bulbs will have to wait for next year when finance and time permit. ( I reside 2000 miles away in New Orleans)