What? Might you think does Hugelkultur have to do with natural dyeing. Plants, fermentation, chemical free, holistic to mention just a few similarities.
In our family we try to think of what someone might need for the coming year and give that as a gift for Christmas. This year I am getting a Hugelkultur bed and that should cover my gifts for the next 15 years at least!
There are many articles on the web about hugelkultur, this is only one of them. It is worth reading the discussion as well. I am just going to give you a quick run through of what we have done so far to whet your curiosity and maybe get you motivated to make your own Hugel bed.
It is not likely that I will use the bed to grow perennial dye-plants as after the first year it will provide very fertile growing which is not always the best for all dye plants. But I will definitely try the madder in deep mulch and see how that goes.
It all started when we decided to cut down the hedge to the south of the dye and vegetable gardens to allow more sun onto the dye-plants and lessen the frost trap.
There were Constable-esque clouds that day!
Once we had all the wood strewn over the garden, I voiced my Christmas wish and Adriaan dug a 50cm deep trench running south to north about 1m wide by 4m long. (What a hero!) It seems a sensible thing to do to turn your hedge prunings into a fertile slow-fermenting raised bed. I read as much as I could about it on the net and it looks like there are a few basic principles and lots of scope for individual initiative with the materials that one has to hand.
Next we visited the local woods and brought home some rotten wood to line the trench with.
Then we bundled the bird-cherry tree cuttings into faggots and laid them on top of the rotten logs.
We want as little air as possible in the middle of the bed or it will collapse too quickly, so back we went to the woods for more rotten wood to weigh the springy twigs down and add more rotting substance.
Adriaan is away next week so the next step is for me to fill in all the gaps with the fig cuttings, then we will finish off with clods and compost. ... to be continued.
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