Shades of Ireland

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have been learning all kinds of things thanks to and YouTube. I don't think that I am spelling "Hugelkulture" correctly but I am fascinated by the idea anyway. Basically, it is a type of raised bed gardening. The difference is that first you have to dig the bed out and fill that with organic matter--- preferably logs, limbs, and other woody vegetation that is well on its way to rotting.

If there is one thing that we have plenty of on this farm, it is downed limbs ---thanks to the ever present Kansas wind. Fortunately for us, there was a large pile of limbs just over the garden fence. It was here when we bought the place so I know it is at least 2 years old. It was just too close to the woods to safely burn it in last years drought. I really like the idea of not wasting this organic matter by burning it.

I believe that the bed is actually supposed to be much deeper than this but --again-- we are in Kansas in the foothills of the Ozarks. We also have plenty of rocks! Seth tilled a wide strip and then we shoveled all of the loose dirt out on to the edge. Then he took the tiller down into the trench and tilled again. That is as good as it gets for us! The idea ( I believe) is for this organic matter to provide a nitrogen "sink" and to conserve water. I am a bit skeptical about the nitrogen part of this theory. I have found that in the beginning of the decaying process, woody things actually suck alot of nitrogen from the soil and that is why fresh wood chips and sawdust are questionable things to use for mulch. So, Seth and I trekked over to the barn and raided the hen house. I have been providing these girls all kinds of stuff to compost for me over the winter. They did an excellent job and I had buckets and tubs of loose, easily shoveled black gold to haul back over to the trench full of limbs........ I figured it wouldn't hurt to give this a jump start on nitrogen.

  We put a good dusting of this hen house compost over the whole bed. I had Seth walk over the limbs and try to pack them down a bit and then began to replace the dirt.

It really does look pretty spectacular. I am going to let this settle a bit for the rest of the day and then plant asparagus in it. I am a bit sore and sweaty from my morning exertions but it feels so good to be "farming". 

No comments:

Post a Comment