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        Welcome to the Gary's Farm & Shop Projects
  Hugelkultur

Hugelkultur is a Permaculture from Austria. A 'hugel' is a hill, and 'kultur' is culture. Sometimes you see it written as two words. A hugelkultur is a pile of rotting wood covered with dirt. The concept is to hold moisture for long periods of drought. The rotting wood is also a compost pile which produces heat and fertilizer. The heat can be used to extend growing seasons in harsher climates. Why do anything small, our hugel is made from 10 large 12 foot long logs with several smaller limbs. It is generating a lot of produce in it's first year. Even with the extreme drought this year (2012) the flowers died but the vegetables are doing well. The flowers dying was my fault I did not saturate it with enough water to get it started properly. We just keep praying it would rain.

The photo at the right is the finished hugel now producing vegetables. The photos below show the construction of the Hugelkultur. Very basically place logs in a pyramid shape with dirt between each layer. As you can see we used the straw from the barn to start our composting project. This fall we will be adding another layer of compost to fill in the settlement. Our lesson learned here is that we need steps up the side. Next year I will add 2 stone steps to each side to facilitate access to the top. I am also considering taking the top log off and making the top flatter and lower. Next year we will also be making another hugel from twigs to compare the two methods.

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