Pollinator Garden Planted at the Oblate Ecological Initiative
November 2nd, 2014
The Oblate Ecological Initiative recently held a Permaculture/Hugelkultur workshop to prepare for installation of a pollinator terrace garden. The pollinator garden was then installed using the concept of Hugelcultur. The Oblate novices helped in the digging and planting.
HUGELKULTUR: What is it?
Hugelkultur is a German word meaning “mound culture”. Hügelkultur replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. Trees that fall in a forest often become like sponges, decaying and providing nutrients and water to seedlings. The water is slowly released back into the environment, benefiting nearby plants.
The process includes digging a trench, placing rotting logs and branches in it, and then topping it with organic matter found in your area, like branches, twigs, logs, decaying leaves, pine needles, straw, your own compost, and finally soil.
There are many benefits to hugelkultur, making it a sustainable process. Since the mound provides water for the plants there is often no need to do any watering. The mound lasts for many years, and as the wood decomposes, it turns in humus and actually retains more water. These beds can also extend the growing season by a month or so, because the decomposition creates heat that keeps the bed warmer during colder months. Another benefit it that no materials need to be purchased, since the mounds can be created from natural materials found in your area. It is a useful way to dispose of unwanted woody organic matter. You can save energy that would be used in disposing of it.
Hugelkultur is an important part of sustainable, fertilizer-free agriculture.
Please see here for a full report on the workshop and planting.