wood core garden beds
March 22nd, 2016 by Off The Grid

Today’s show is all about getting things started for this years Hugelkulture wood core beds in the off grid garden. For months now you have heard me talk about collecting lots of tree limbs, branches, and organic material from the surrounding forest. In my travels on the road I have also managed to amass a small collectionchicken quesodias rocket stove of about 35 bags of leaves an pine straw. Why all this organic material for the garden you might be asking? The more the better! lol 🙂 Several years ago a friend of mine who has been gardening for 70 plus years taught me the traditional way of gardening. That summer I would go and help him in the garden as much as I could. That was also my first year with a decent size garden. The year before that I started out container gardening in half barrel size yard planters with bamboo. Beans climbed up to the surrounding fence and took it from there. Each year was a huge learning experience and I was loving it.. and the amazingly fresh food! The year after the “traditional” garden I took a leap of faith and tried something called Hugelkultur. If you are wondering what is Hugelkulture or hughelculture then you are not alone. Hugelkultur is essentially soil covering wood core beds with plants or your garden planted right on top. The wood core bed(s) can either be above or below ground. The first year I tried this I only had to water 3 times that year. Yes seriously! 🙂

What are some of the benefits of a wood core Hugelkulture garden? Aside from not having to water as much the decomposing tree limbs and branched become this really nutrient rich and moist soil for the plants growing above to tap into when needed. Wood core beds can either be made by digging a trench and burying old rotting wood or by piling dirt up on top of a pile of branches. The first year I did this it was amazing! This years off grid garden just makes sense to take this approach because of the fact that it requires so little watering if done right. The 35 bags of leaves will be used in large part to create a 4 – 6 inch mulching layer to also help keep the moisture in the soil. After researching and trying this kind of gardening a couple of ways it was clear that mulching made the difference. The only other note I would make is that everything I have heard about Hugelkulture wood core beds say that for about the first year the wood core beds will need to b amended with nitrogen. This can easily be done by planting clover, beans, peas, or legumes that help to naturally put nitrogen into your garden. The wood core garden beds become like a battery of nutrients of sorts.

Today’s Time Travel Tuesday segment of oil pastels mural artthe Off The Grid Podcast takes us back about 30 years ago to the year 1987. I mentioned in the show that the mural was made in 1986 but it seems that nearly 30 years has caused me to forget a year. lol None the less today’s item from my special time travel box is a mural I made when I was a kid in elementary school. You made a mural? Yes even as a kiddo I was full of life and a strong creative spirit to do something great in this world. The mural is about 4′ foot by 8′ foot. The overall main theme and oil pastels mural art signedappropriately named title is “I love to doodle”. The medium is oil pastels for the most part with the basic sketch done in pencil. As a kid when I came up with the grand notion to crate a mural I quickly found out that this momentous task was more than I knew at the time. Back then I was just like any other kid. I rode my bike around the neighborhood, went outside when the weather was nice, and played with everyone else at playground.. but this mural taught me a few lessons early on in life. A big one was that even if you take on a large task and may not feel like seeing it through sometimes you just have to see your way through to the end. I will leave the rest for the show today for you to year. Thank you again for continuing to listen! I appreciate it! 🙂


Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Sometimes when you take on a huge project you simply need to focus and see it through to completion because in the end you will accomplish great things.
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