This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the iron badge in Gardening.
In this badge bit, you will build hugelkultur beds that are 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, and that total 150ft (46m) in length. There must be at least 6 different beds. These beds need to be designed to keep the wind out as well as being designed to ensure there are no frost pockets created. For this BB, the hugelkultur beds cannot be in straight lines.
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, and 150 feet total length
- There must be at least 6 different beds
- There are no straight lines - There are no frost pockets - Beds are designed to keep the wind out
- Beds are mulched (using with at least 8 different kinds of mulch)
- Beds are planted with at least Thirty different species
- The majority of these species are nitrogen fixers
- There are at least 30 comfrey plants in total
- There are at least 30 sunchokes in total
- There are at least a 100 sepp holzer grains in each of the 6 beds
To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
- Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended locations marked out.
o Hint: 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(s) with a walking tape measure starting at zero.
- A picture at the end of the hugelkltur(s) with a walking tape measure showing the length of the bed.
- The total bed length equaling 150ft (Show us your math!)
- 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.
The above could also be included in a short video (2 minutes or less)
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.
I started working on another hugelkultur bed, and I have a few questions.
What exactly does it mean by no frost pockets?
I made a J shape, is that okay? I assume by no straight lines the whole bed can't be straight, and that sections of it can be straight?
I don't have any sepp holzer grains yet. Is it okay if I plant those later? Maybe next Spring or Fall.
I got a little overzealous with my backhoe on this pile. Is it okay that I turned a bunch of the wood up vertical in one area?
Edit2: I don't know where edit 1 went, but I found an answer to my frost pocket question. Apparently if you go to the hugelkultur area on the forum you can search just that area, rather than the whole forum. For others wondering a frost pocket is an area where air heading downhill gets stopped by the bed. https://permies.com/t/14080/Hugelkultur-beds-winter-freezing