Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

After doing 2 lasagne beds (lucernce, compost, chook poo, sugar cane mulch layers), and reading a bit on BLF, I decided to try a Hugelkultur one for my 3rd bed. This was actual really just a process of consolidating my broken branches and sticks pile with my old grass clippings, ends of old flower pots and pulled-out weeds pile.

I started with layering down some cardboard to minimise weeds (probably don't need this in traditional Hugelkultur but figured can't hurt.

Then I piled the branches and twigs (don't have logs, should just been it will decompose quicker?)

Heaped with grass clippings, compost and chook poo

Covered with sugar cane mulch. Voila, woman-made turkey mound... let's see how it goes. I guess it's really more of a heaped compost heap though theoretically not turning it? 

Does this even count as hugelkultur?

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Comment by Dave Riley on March 9, 2016 at 17:25

Across Melanesia they employ a similar approach to mound building to grow sweet potato. It is in situ composting.

The Maori mine and then use stones in their pile to hold heat.

I've buried tree logs but I can't say it has been a great success.You really do need a mix of ingredients in poor soils...and some say that Hegulkultur won't work so well in the Australian climate or with local woods.

In New Guinea the habit is to scrape all this stuff together into a mound and make the best of it even while it 'cooks'.

Related is this:the keyhole garden.Rather than above, you build your garden  bed around.

I think the same principle applies.

...and that would be the soil critters do the mixing for you.

Imagine that instead of a log buried in there you had grandma? Suitably dead of course. I'd love to go out so mounded.

Comment by Christa on March 9, 2016 at 15:42

Yes that works as well, just remember that after a year or so the bale tends to disintegrate, but they turn into beautiful mulch and it will give you a natural quick growing space.

Comment by Sophie on March 9, 2016 at 15:33

I also love the idea of making raised beds using straw bales as the borders and filling the inside hugelkultur style eg http://www.permaculture.co.uk/sites/default/files/images/strawbale....

Comment by Sophie on March 9, 2016 at 15:30

Oh wow that looks great! Not keen for that 1m digging though! but potentially you could build up the circle as mound of sorts and still have the central branch and debris dump spot in the middle. Love the wheelbarrow access idea. Will seriously consider this as had been thinking putting bananas and pawpaws in that part just to the right of the photo infront of that house but it gets too much shade (in between two houses) and was worried about drainage (potential bog spot) but here at my hugel spot should be ok.. thanks for the idea :)

Comment by Christa on March 9, 2016 at 15:14

Yes as soon as it settles a bit, you could maybe choose a spot and fill it with a small bucket of compost or soil and plant into that spot, maybe.   Sophie I found this on the site, written by Scarlett and it shows how to make a banana circle, it may be what Elaine was speaking about. The link is below:

http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/photo/albums/banana-paw-paw-circle

Comment by Sophie on March 9, 2016 at 14:54

Hi Christa, thank you :) Yes, getting lots of rain, love it! 
I think for it to be true Hugelkultur I should plant onto the top layer but it is quite airy and tall, I'm going to wait til it settles a bit. All things considered, if it works, it's a very easy way to prepare beds!

Comment by Christa on March 9, 2016 at 14:46

Voilà, well done.  The beginning of a good thing. You have set a good example for all of us.  Are you getting the rain at your place?

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