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Local Food Journey

Local Food Video: Building a hügelkultur garden bed

Posted by Danielle Matalonis on 07/16 at 08:00 AM

This slideshow describes in audio and background images the process for building a hugelkultur garden as described below.

Jason Lilley and Jackie Bonomo demonstrate how to build a hügelkultur garden bed. This type of gardening promotes sustainability, as the beds keep the soil fertile for up to 30 years. Hügelkultur beds need less water and the decomposing organic materials keep the soil warm. Newspaper suppresses weeds and the beds control soil erosion.

Ten steps to building a hügelkultur bed, provided by Jason and Jackie:

1) Select the area to build your bed.
    - Parallel to the contour of the land. (primarily)
    - Running North to South. (secondarily)
    - Approximately three to four feet across. As long as you would like.

2) Collect materials.
    - Newspaper, cardboard, rotting logs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, compost, straw, rock dust, wood ash, top soil, and manure (optional).
    - Note: Avoid certain toxin producing or rot resistant woods (cedar, camphor, black locust, black walnut, pine, fir).

3) Dig a shallow trench where the bed will go.

4) Mound largest logs on bottom to smaller branches on top.
    - This can be as high as six feet. The higher, the more air flow and the less compaction, which leads to happier plants.

5) Add leaves, fresh compost, grass clippings, manure, wood ash and small amounts of rock dust in the gaps.
    - Water between each layer.

6) Add topsoil and/or compost to the top two to three inches of the pile.

7) Cover with overlapping soaked cardboard or thick layers of newspaper.

8) Cover with straw.

9) Surround edges with stones, logs or lumber to maintain structure and hold in heat.

10) Plant and eat!

{name} Author: Danielle Matalonis
Bio: Aspiring journalist - Health enthusiast - Dream chaser

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