This past Saturday, we welcomed Sean Dembrowsky of EdibleAcres.org to our store at 606 Elmira Road in Ithaca, for a great demonstration about Hugelkultur.
What is Hugelkultur?
Hugelkultur is a German word that roughly translates to "mound culture." These mounds are a more natural way to make raised beds in your garden.
We used overlapping pieces of cardboard to sheet mulch our bed, covering it with a couple inches of wood chips.
The cardboard was then covered with a light layer of mulch.
Logs and branches from brush we cleared out near the store formed the structure of the raised beds. First we used the logs to map out where we wanted the beds.
The logs give the bed structure and provide a long-term source of fertility as they break down over the coming years.
You can use pulverized lime to sketch our the edges of your bed, too.
Our logo was our inspiration. See the tree shape?
Once we had the beds planned we used logs, branches, mulch, and soil to start filling them up.
We started filling in with soil after we had a good base layer of logs, sticks and other organic material.
Finally, we started planting! After topping the beds with soil (We used the soil we sweep up off the warehouse floor after mixing every day!), we planted rosemary and strawberries, finding space between the branches in the bed and topping with more soil and mulch.
All done -- for the day, that is! We planted an assortment of perennials (There are apricots!!) and filled around them with annual, namely herbs, beans, and salad greens. Now we wait for spring to bring it all to life!