Hi! I'm finally getting around to submitting the documentation of the hugel i built (and will continue to build upon) this spring. Here's a link to the point in my build-progress thread where the final product can be seen, if any extra context is desired: https://permies.com/t/212487/Wood-dirt-pile-Hugelkultur-ongoing#1820747
Here are the points from the certification requirements, and a little commentary on each:
- Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out.
Note that my hugel is a v shape, one leg of which is 12'. The other leg is still in progress. In the pre-build photos you'll see the full v with a tape measure indicating the shape, but only the left side is relevant to this badge certification
- Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur
First you'll see a pic of the hugest log i used, after moving it into position. The first layer of logs with leaves and clay-ey dirt filling the gaps is visible.
Next is a view of a nearly full-height section, showing the switch to perpendicular-to-ridge stacking i made after hearing that recommended on a Wheaton Labs podcast episode. Also shows some of the organic material layered in, and my system of support sticks.
Last i show that same section after i had layered in a lot of smaller sticks, before adding some more organic material and then the soil layer. Again, i was lucky to hear a suggestion at the right time and this layer came out better for it.
- One pic when the hugelkultur is completely built but not planted or mulched showing it is 7 feet tall
Two pics were necessary to show the height in my case, rolling solo. The first shows were i marked 7' on a pole with red, and the second shows a second pole hitting that red mark when laid across the top of the hugel. A third picture is included to give a view of the completed but not planted hugel, with me - 5'9.5" - reaching towards the top to give another sense of the height.
(- pics to prove its length and width)
This isn't specifically in the requirements but i've got the pics to show it. One shows that poles laying up tight on either side of the hugel are at least 7' apart, judging by the red mark. The other shows that the tape measure pulled between two poles at either end of the ridge measures at just under 15'. I included a third pic to show the two-pole setup from afar so there's no worries about funny-business. Yes the back pole is leaning in that pic, but if you think about it, that kind of lean, with a measurement of 15', implies an even longer hugel.
- Pics of all the stuff about to be planted
Pictured are 3 comfrey plants, more than enough Sepp Holzer grains, 10 sunchokes, a cover crop mix*, red clover, hairy vetch, ladino clover, snap peas, bush beans, zinnia & coneflower, chard, squash, radish, corn, and wildflower blend. I included a picture of all the empties too.
- A paragraph or two of what wood was used and where it came from, what was planted, what mulches were applied and anything else interesting
My wood was all present on site in a messy pile because of a past logging operation using this area to cut the ends off some logs. The dirt that ended up topping the hugel was also from right there amongst the logs, i started all this by scooping it all out into a dirt pile. The smaller sticks were all there too, and the organic materials i layered in were from the grassy area that the hugel shares this landing with.
The things i planted were picked up at various places in the months i was working on this. I hope to harvest peas and beans at some point, and am excited to see a few healthy squash plants starting on the ridgeline. I also planted tomato and pepper seedlings in the lowest sunniest part of the hugel, where they have the feel of a typical garden setup like i'm used to.
The mulches i used were 1) dried native grasses 2) dried invasive perilla 3) dried invasive sericea lespedeza 4) fresh invasive sericea lespedeza 5) fresh mullein leaves. They can be seen in a pic below.
- Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
That should wrap it up, i hope
* Flax - Carter
Clover - Yellow Sweet
Clover - White Dutch
Clover - Medium Red
Clover - Crimson
Lentils - Indianhead
Millet - White Proso
Vetch - Hairy
Vetch - Common
Cowpeas - Red Ripper
Buckwheat - Mancan
Pea - Forage