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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Garbage to Good Eats: Alderwood Patch

Previous owners of our property had a garbage pit in what is now the garden area. Here they burned scrap wood and who knows what else.

We knew from Day 1 that this garbage would have to go. 
This is what it looked like during the summer of 2013.

Enter the dump truck and backhoe team: the long-awaited day.

Boy, was I glad to see that stuff go!

We scraped the pit out and removed some of the soil as well.

Now that's more like it! The first layer was spruce, with greens and hay on top.

Next, manure, wood chips, old grass clippings...

...and other good stuff, whatever organic matter was handy.

A layer of soil

Spreading it out

Making a bed of soil for the next layer of wood

The remainder of the bed was made with alder wood. Thus it is now called, "The Alderwood Patch."

Spreading old grass clippings over the top

Rotting wood happiness, delivered to us by... Lee Johnson and Truckula!  

Tory Shook came over to lend a hand and see how the bed was built. 
It was fun to have you here, Tory! As my Opa would say whenever we left, "Come again."

More soil and some hay on top of the alder...

...along with a thick layer of manure with wood chips mixed in, and some sand for surface drainage.

Now the trick with hugelkultur is how to dig a hole for potted plants... 
Let me tell you, it is better planned for in advance! 
Here you see a placeholder for a future berry bush.

Each of the logs sticking out of a hole in the bed represents a placeholder for a future raspberry plant (logs sitting in empty 3 gallon pots). Without these placeholders, it would be next to impossible to dig a hole in the wood for the plants.

Buckwheat cover crop, toward the end of summer 2013

Early spring 2014 -- 
The raspberry plants are all in the ground; up next: good eats!


  1. Can't wait to see more updates on the existing beds - thanks for this one - I know where there is some really old dead alder that needs a home. Very inspiring...

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