The There are many different ways we’re trying to plant and grow our food over the long term. We’re on some densely packed soils and we have long dry periods, without much precipitation, so one thing we’re trying out is Hügelkulture. Hügelkulture is a type of raised bed gardening that replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. In general, you mound or pile wood, leaves, weeds, garden debris- cover with compost or soil and plant on top. Over the long term, the gradual decay of the wood and other materials provides a consistent source of nutrients. Soul aeration increases as the debris breaks down, continually tilling itself over time. Also, the logs and beaches act like a sponge; rainwater is stored and then released during the dry times.
When we took over the care of the property, we inherited a water feature project that was only in its beginning stages. The previous owner had dug two separate pond areas connected by a stream. So there were ditches dug quite deep and Sue got the idea to fill them with the debris we were creating by trimming trees and pulling out weeds and more weeds. Now we have mostly filled the ditches with debris and are in the process of obtaining horse manure to cover the top and then adding some top soil from a neighbor’s yard- they don’t want it, it’s leftover from an excavation project. In a few weeks we’ll be planing our fruit and nut trees on top and seeing how it progresses over the long haul!