How much food could you grow in your own yard? We're about to find out...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Raised Beds, Hugelkultur style, part 3

 This is one kind of chipped wood I had delivered yesterday.  It's mostly chipped branches with a lot of bark.  It's mostly about a 1/4" square and pretty firm.  I'm guessing that it will hold a lot of water!

 The other half of the wood chips, was this fluffy hardwood shavings.  This will hold a lot of air and really help the organic material in the raised beds get really hot and cook whatever weed seeds are anywhere in the bed.

This is four wheelbarrow loads of the chipped branches as a base with a few shovels of chicken manure scattered across the top of the layer.

 Layer of green garden biomass.  It's mostly tomato vines, broccoli plants minus the heads, and bolted greens.

 Under the dirt, there are several alternating layers of topsoil and hardwood shavings and then about 6 inches of just topsoil.  It mounds up to be about 4 inches higher than the raised bed lumber.  I'm pretty certain that it will all settle down once the air is used in the aerobic composting process.  Rain is expected for each of the next four days (welcome to November in Michigan).  It should be very interesting to see what happens to the volume when water is added to the mix.

 I hammered a wooden stake as far into the bed as possible to allow oxygen to circulate and reach the under layers.  I think I'll keep doing this except with a piece of concrete re-bar to get down to the lowest layer.

so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.
-William Carlos Williams

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