Ashley Cottonwood

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since Feb 08, 2018
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Ashley is a small scale market gardener and permaculture student. She is the owner and founder of a micro poultry operation and composting program. Ashley is a participant in the SKIP program and is passionate about acquiring homesteading skills.
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British Columbia
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Recent posts by Ashley Cottonwood

I'm doing a hugelkulture and I am soooooooo excited! We are filling up the trench with wood this weekend!

I'm not sure if we will get to to a proper Paul/Sepp height with it only being 4 feet wide but we will get it as tall as possible.

Did I mention how excited I am?
1 week ago
1 hour selection site - May ?
30 minutes digging Hugel trench (neighbour) - April 3rd
15 minutes starting seedlings - April 10th

Resource / $CAD
Backhoe & Operator / $80
Glass jars / Free
Squash seed / Free (seed saved)
Potato seed / $3.89
Potting soil / Free (homemade)

Video 1 : Site Selection
Video 2 : Soil on Site
Video 3 : Start of Hugel trench
Video 4 : More Hugel Trench
Video 5 : Even More Hugel
Video 6 : Potting starts

1 week ago
I adore red-winged black birds! Thanks for sharing.
1 week ago

Thekla McDaniels wrote:How deep is your trench?

Is the calcium a solid sheet, or in fragments?  Any indication how thick that layer is?  If it is solid, I would be tempted to try to drill holes in it, unless it’s bedrock!  “Starter cracks” would allow acidic compounds to dissolve it and deepen the topsoil, allow the fungi to mine it for plant needs.

I find it so exciting when something unusual or unexpected occurs or is discovered!  I am filled with ideas & theories and possibilities.  The potential at the start is pure joy to me!

It's a solid sheet, it seems to cover most of the area in my little community. I'll have to take some pictures for you!

The trench is about 2 feet down.

I'm wondering if roots would be able to penetrate? I have lots of fruit trees but perhaps their root systems are more lateral than I thought. Or maybye adding some taproot species to the Hugel to see if they penetrate.
2 weeks ago
Yes! I did get some video!

This spot get ample sun, it is south facing with not a lot of tree coverage. This area I will have to set up deer fencing.

Yes, the top layer has some organic materials. I'm going to do a mason jar test later.

Yes, the bottom layer is "calcium gravel" according to the back hoe operator. He calls is "nature's concrete" and it's absolutely brutal. He says it doesn't even let water through so could be interesting for the hugel.
2 weeks ago
So excited! My neighbour came today to dig a trench for the hugel for the new GAMCOD garden!

I decided to go with a hugel because I've always wanted one on our property and it will act as a berm on that side of our property. Our other neighbor already had asked for our help taking down some dead trees on his property; perfect hugel filler!

The bucket on the backhoe is 4 feet wide, perfect for making a trench 4ft x 50 ft!

2 weeks ago
Good day Permies!

I recently had to give my Elderberry a serious haircut! It has died back over 90% over the last 2 years. I have a ton of branches now! Can I put them in a hugel or will the cyanogenic glycosides be a concern?

Here is the carnage. The stubble in the centre is what is left of the bush. As you can see, there is several large piles of potential carbon!

3 weeks ago
It's not quite Spring here yet, but sooooo close!

Here is the song currently on repeat in my head:

3 weeks ago
I was going to mark out my new zone today but it is also snowing!

Yay for the moisture?
3 weeks ago
That's awesome May! I bet there are people on Permies that can help if you need some camera support.

Oh wow your trees are blossoming! I'm so excited to start but it's currently snowing!
3 weeks ago