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Friday, March 6, 2015

Building Swampland Hugelkultur - Raised Beds in Unlikely Places

Building Permaculture Gardens

Nice short video from Rick Larson in Michigan
Rick demonstrates here the beginning of constructing valuable growing space in a very non-traditional space.  This part of Michigan is very much like parts of Craig an my wilderness farm here in Maine. The following photos with their idea generating value has inspired us and the coming spring activity will certainly include these technique.  We have some areas which were logged by the previous owners and what might have looked like space where little could be done is taking on a new 
and exciting plan. 

A slab wood path started into the swampy area.  

The beginning of a raised hugelkultur bed. 

This is a photo of a completed path with the huglekultr beds started on either side.
Raised beds made with rotted wood, hay and manure, and finished with a layer of swamp muck (delivered by the beavers?). Cardboard and wood chips cover the surface for holding moisture and controlling weeds.

A Solution is in a Problem 

An important point to keep in mind for us, while we plan our planting beds, is the presence of beavers.(see "We've got Beaver Problems")  If the paths were to be placed across the natural flow of the surface water and especially if small breaks in the paths or beds created a audible trickle of water, beavers would be dancing in their lodges. The sound of flowing water attracts them and they would quickly capitalize on our path/raised bed arrangement.   They work fast and this could be turned into a beaver dam in no time.  There may be a solution embedded in that problem.  Waking up in the morning to see branches and muck collected and deposited on the path might be an advantage in this way.  The beavers would be collecting perfect material to be moved to the raised beds.  It may be nice to have all our building materials delivered close to where we can move them, expanding the planting beds further.   

A "finger" path into the swampy area with huglekultur raised beds on either side. 
Nutrient rich water can be easily dipped and used to enhance the growth in the beds.  
Differing stages of construction. 

Squash plant seedlings planted. 

A series of paths with flanking huglekultr growing areas.

Stump as a planting pot.

Garlic planted. 
Deer could be a thought of as problem.  How could they help?

Is this a new idea?  It was to us.  Native American peoples knew this system well.  Extensive use of the concept was common in their history.  

Photos and Ref: Kathleen  - Thank You!!!
Kathleen's zazzle page
Rick Larson's Youtube page.


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