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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the wood badge in Gardening.

In this badge bit, you will build a 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, and 24 feet long hugelkultur bed.


(source)

Here is is video of a smaller hugelkultur bed being made Sepp Holzer-style.

Hügelbeet bauen - Hugelculture (Sepp Holzer Style)



From the video transcript:
"In cooperation with the association PermaVitae, the town of Übelbach has created the 'edible community'. And in this context there were built raised beds next to the elementary school. I liked the idea, because it's very natural and because only biomass is used. There aren't used any fertilizers and the plants grow as they want. Since I was thinking of expanding my own vegetable garden, it seemed like a good opportunity, and Jonny Peham fortunately offered to help us.\ And finally we are building now! In the beginning we removed the turf - made a shallow pit, and there we assembled the biomass and the branches. We make kind of layers in putting earth between the branches, so it won't collapse no freshly cut wood, like willows, alders and such, because this would bud through. We now need this kind of wood nails. Someone could already prepare this... This one is almost too thin, but they can be that long, then cut it angular, like this. Could you try to wiggle a bit? We now put on the branches, which are well ramified, so the earth is stabilized, since it is quite steep. This will then be stabilized with branches and wood nails, so it won't erode when it rains. When we're finished we put in the seeds, followed by a layer of mulch. Here we take out salad seeds, and throw it in. Some onions, salad, garden radish, sunflowers, spring garlic and spring onions as well. This is kind of a winter coat, which also becomes a fertilizer, and it protects against the rain...But hopefully it won't be too windy now.."

Hugelkultur is basically gardening on buried wood.  It is laid out very well in this Richsoil Article.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
  - 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, 24 feet long
  - mulch it with at least 6 different kinds of mulch
  - seed/plant at least two dozen different species
  - mostly nitrogen fixers
  - at least 6 comfrey plants
  - at least 6 sunchokes
  - at least a 100 sepp holzer grains

To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
  - Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out.
        o probably marked with wood laid on the ground that will soon be buried!
  - Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur
  - Pics of all the stuff about to be planted
  - 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
  - A picture at the start of the hugelkltur with a walking tape measure starting at zero
  - A picture at the end of the hugelkltur with a walking tape measure ending at 24 feet or greater
  - Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
        o include some people or something in the pics so we can gauge that the size is probably correct


Clarifications:
  - You may use an excavator or other heavy equipment if needed.
  - if you dig 3 foot deep trenches on either side of the hugelkultur spot, you can use that soil, mixed with wood, to make a hugelkultur bed that is 4 feet above grade but 7 feet tall relative to the bottom of the trench. That is one way to satisfy this BB.  

COMMENTS:
 
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Approved BB submission
I made a 24 foot hugelkultur bed today!!!  Twice the size went 1/3rd faster due to having a bit more experience (I did the 12' one a few days ago).  

The seeds I planted are:
Hazelnut
Black walnut
Buckwheat
Quinoa
Mammoth red clover (n)
Chickling vetch (n)
Yellow blossom sweet clover (n)
Austrian winter pea (n)
Crimson clover (n)
Mullein
Common vetch (n)
Alfalfa (n)
Radish
Red cowpeas (n)
Dock
Catnip
Echinaceae
Rhubarb
Lamb's quarters
Tendril peas (n)
Kohlrabi
Sepp Holzer grain
Beardless barley
Sunflowers
6 comfrey rootlets
7 sunchoke tubers

The nitrogen fixers were bigger handfuls than the other stuff to satisfy the "mostly" criteria.  I built this adjoining Beau Davidson's 12' hugel.  We planned them to curve to follow the fence and also overlap the hugel row we did earlier in the week.  I had to cut down 3 trees since they were in the way but I got to use them inside the hugel.  And the branches became mulch   The stumps were about centered in the hugel and the base layer was the trunks of the trees.  Other wood was scavenged from left over junkpole fence pieces.

I did the trench on either side approach for this hugel and found that it's quicker if you can line up the excavator with the trench and dig towards yourself.  The mulches I used were straw, lambsquarters, mullein, knapweed, some green tall plant, peeled tree bark and boughs from the trees I cut down.  It was snowing pretty strongly during the mulching.  But maybe I can count the snow as another mulch  The snow helped the seeds to stick as I broadcast them.  I planted the walnuts in a clump and made a row of hazelnuts along the border between Beau and my hugel.

For the final pictures, I changed the landscape so much that I couldn't remember where my starting photos were taken from.  So there are three final pics.   For the vertical tape measure shots the tape is at 7'.
24-hugel-marked-with-white-stakes-(highlighted-with-arrows).jpg
24' hugel marked with white stakes (highlighted with arrows)
24' hugel marked with white stakes (highlighted with arrows)
View-from-the-other-end.jpg
View from the other end
View from the other end
Logs-going-down-(stumps-kept-high-to-help-hold-the-hugel-steep).jpg
Logs going down (stumps kept high to help hold the hugel steep)
Logs going down (stumps kept high to help hold the hugel steep)
Logs-on-ground.-Brush-pile-is-on-where-the-end-of-the-hugel-will-be..jpg
Logs on ground. Brush pile is on where the end of the hugel will be.
Logs on ground. Brush pile is on where the end of the hugel will be.
First-layer-covered-and-starting-the-second.jpg
First layer covered and starting the second
First layer covered and starting the second
Same-stage-other-direction.jpg
Same stage, other direction
Same stage, other direction
More-logs.jpg
More logs
More logs
More-logs.-The-little-tree-on-the-right-will-later-get-dug-up-and-placed-on-top-of-the-hugel.jpg
More logs. The little tree on the right will later get dug up and placed on top of the hugel
More logs. The little tree on the right will later get dug up and placed on top of the hugel
Little-tree-near-the-top.-7-tape-on-front-side.jpg
Little tree near the top. 7' tape on front side
Little tree near the top. 7' tape on front side
7-tape-on-back-side.jpg
7' tape on back side
7' tape on back side
End-of-hugle-showing-length.jpg
End of hugle showing length
End of hugle showing length
Zoomed-in-on-the-tape.jpg
Zoomed in on the tape
Zoomed in on the tape
Showing-the-tape.jpg
Showing the tape
Showing the tape
Other-end-of-tape.jpg
Other end of tape
Other end of tape
Seeds-tubers-and-roots-ready-to-be-planted.jpg
Seeds, tubers and roots ready to be planted
Seeds, tubers and roots ready to be planted
Last-layer-of-mulch-from-first-vantage-point.jpg
Last layer of mulch from first vantage point
Last layer of mulch from first vantage point
Last-layer-of-mulch-from-near-the-second-vantge-point.jpg
Last layer of mulch from near the second vantge point
Last layer of mulch from near the second vantge point
Bonus-pic.-Beau-s-hugel-is-coming-towards-the-camera-on-the-right.jpg
Bonus pic. Beau's hugel is coming towards the camera on the right
Bonus pic. Beau's hugel is coming towards the camera on the right
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

Most excellent! I certify this BB is complete.

 
gardener
Posts: 267
Location: NW Washington - Zone 8a : 10 to 15 (F)
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Approved BB submission
For a more detailed account of my adventures in building this Hügelkultur, see My first Hügelkultur adventure for PEP [Log].  

To Certify That the BB is Completed:
- Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out.
      o probably marked with wood laid on the ground that will soon be buried!



- Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur




- One pic when the hugelkultur is completely built but not planted or mulched showing it is 7 feet tall (1x3 board is 7 ft long in photo)


- Pics of all the stuff about to be planted












- 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

This Hügelkultur project meets the requirements for the Sand, Straw, and Wood badges combined (6 ft + 12 ft + 24 ft = 42 ft) at over 50 ft long by over 10 ft wide by at least 7 ft high - not counting the foot I dug down on each side to help stabilize the outermost bottom logs. I used mostly wind blown Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder logs that were already partially rotten from laying on the ground nearby for a few years. Some birch got added as well. The soil came from three nearby mounds formed a few years ago when I scraped up areas taken over by blackberries and then let the mounds decompose.  I applied 6 kinds of mulch including stemmy hay, hardwood sawmill shavings, Big Leaf Maple leaves, pea husks, skunk cabbage leaves, and lawn clippings for mulch.  I planted using polycultures at least a dozen different species, mostly nitrogen fixers, including:
1) several apple cores
2) 12 sunchokes (3 for the Sand BB, 3 for Straw BB, 6 for Wood BB)
3) 12 comfrey (3 for the Sand BB, 3 for Straw BB, 6 for Wood BB)
4) Buttercup squash
5) October beans
6) garlic
7) shallots
8) cilantro
9) Delicata squash
10) black corn
11) date pits
12) Sepp grains (12 for the Sand BB, 40 for Straw BB, 100 for Wood BB)
13) Lummi Island Wildflower Mix  (Common Camas, Yarrow, Many-leaved Lupine, Fireweed, Woolly Sunflower, Pearly Everlasting, Douglas Aster)
14) White beans
15) Golden Bantam sweet corn
16) Vanessa Dwarf Blue Curled Kale
17) Bush Blue Lake garden bean
18) Zinnia
19) Viva la Dulce Vita Blend Basil
20) Easy Peasy Pea
21) Connecticut Field Pumpkin
22) Fingerling potatoes
23) Regular potatoes
24) Nettle
25) Snow berry
26) Salmon berry
27) Elderberry
28) Foxglove
29) Willow
30) 11 more apples
31) Crimson clover
32) Medium Red clover

 - A picture at the start of the hugelkltur with a walking tape measure starting at zero
 - A picture at the end of the hugelkltur with a walking tape measure ending at 24 feet or greater



- Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
      o include some people or something in the pics so we can gauge that the size is probably correct  



Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
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