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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Aspen Hotbed

First day in the Garden in 2013 (March 18)

You are looking at a pit that we dug at the end of 2012, and had filled partway -- and in the spring of 2013, we picked up right where we had left off. This was before I discovered using spruce, and the entire pit was built with aspen. 
Big thanks to Lee Johnson for generously bringing aspen here for the garden.


I layered in aspen, some wood chopping debris, manure, and soil.


Lee and my daughter Fawn helped sort rocks from the soil so that we could shovel soil back into the pit. Great teamwork! (I've never seen that girl work so hard.)


The uppermost section received a generous amount of manure and hay... over 10,000 pounds. (♥ wonderful neighbors!) The largest mass of horse manure in the whole garden is what gave this bed its name, "Aspen Hotbed."


More aspen on top of the manure and hay -- smaller pieces.


First week of April: Enter the best birthday present I could have asked for: two friends brought over a pickup load of REALLY BEAUTIFUL SOIL. Just in the nick of time for the top layer of the aspen hotbed! Thank you Jason Llewellyn and Lisa Eversgerd -- you rock!


Fast forward to August... the aspen hotbed is growing full tilt!
(a new pit started on the upper left, a story for another day)


September


Do you think the plants like hugelkultur?


Seems like they do.


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At a glance:




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