As part of our ongoing experiments with selected permaculture-related projects, we are putting together what is called a Hugelkultur Raised Bed.
We have a little terraced area located below our hydro-pneumatic water storage system very near to our kitchen (zone 1 anybody?). These are tree branches, some really big and thick, that came from a tamarind tree that we had to trim back quite a bit.
So the idea is that you put these trees down and simply pile dirt over the top. But they say to do it about five feet wide and 6 or even 7 feet tall! The higher and steeper the form the more water it stores during the rainy season. Supposedly, these are “no-water” gardens; once established, as the wood breaks down it becomes more and more of a sponge and you can grow tasty vegetables and fragrant herbs without needing to water the raised bed.
In forthcoming days we will be adding some plantain tree trunks, some mixed tree branches, dead leaves, and on top of that some green materials and semi-finished compost, then finally just some plain old dirt dug up for another project. Then plant, water to ensure the seedlings thrive, and, well we’ll see and report back to you, our faithful reader(s)!