08 May 2012

Urban Farming - Hugelkultur

After letting our house sit on the market for well over a year with nary a nibble, we decided to bring the farm to the city.  Urban farming, if you will.  But, lack of soil makes that difficult!  My neighbor suggested something called Hugelkultur and then this weekend, he started collecting this and that and before we knew it, Andrew's empty planting box was a Hugelkultur system!

This creation is an amazing display of scavenging, reusing, and making do.  Andrew created the planter from old doors destined for the landfill.  It's quite large and when we moved it to the end of the driveway, it now gets tons of sun.

Rotten logs were scavenged from the abandoned house down the street and used as the bottom layer.  The logs will hold moisture, create air pockets, and eventually decompose to create rich soil.  

The logs were lined up to create the bottom layer.

The box is on a slope, so a tarp was positioned to help prevent run-off.  Since this was a free project, it was a pretty sad looking tarp!

Rotting leaves and other plant-stuff was scooped up from the alley to fill in around the logs.

  Then compost soil was placed on top of that.

We had a great deal of child slave labor.  Always a good thing.

This corner is at the alley where the telephone pole is.  Tons of leaves had gathered there over the years and started to decompose.  With a little ingenuity, now it houses a grape vine to grow up the telephone pole and a blackberry bush which will vine across the driveway.

One more layer of soil is needed and then I get the fun job of planting!  I can't wait to see how well this garden produces.


Mrs. H. said...

Wow! Amazing what a little ingenuity, a lot of knowledge and research . Really smart neighbors, and lots of labor can do!! This is the wave of the future!!

Anne said...

I'm excited to hear how this works out for you guys, Sarah. I've just been skimming a book about mini-farming on a quarter of an acre and the author really praises the raised beds over the traditional ones. Keep us posted!!

Sharon said...

I t looks great. You will have to get your rain barrels set up to water it. A continuous supply of rain water will keep the water bill down and be better for the plants. Anne, can you share with us the book you read?

Anne said...

Sharon - Sorry to be so slow in responding. The book I was looking at was:
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

I never did finish it but what I read was interesting!

Sarah said...

Anne- I have heard great things about that book. Now I am definitely going to have to check it out!