Construction of the raised bed

New year, new beds, meet Sugi!

IMG_6547This winter we have decided to sacrifice our beloved zuchini circle for an extra camping field. It is a shame because the field gave us a lot (zuchinnis) and is nice and straight. But since the latter is quite rare in our garden, we found this place to be perfect for more friends to come over and sleep. When the cabbage and french garlics are done, we will start the transformation.

More reasons for us to start a new permaculture experiment. Behold our Hugelkultur in a raised bed with on the spot composting. Or is it a garden lasagna? So what did we do?

Construction of the raised bed

For the last year we have put our garden waste, leaves, grass and small branches, on a E shaped pile (yes we have seen this coming). As you can see it hasn’t decomposed completely, but inside you find already the fluffy sticky black gold we are looking for.

In one powerful day we constructed the outer fame, almost around the entire compost E. We used ceder wood (Cryptomeria) for the poles and planks. The Japanese Ceder (Sugi) grows very well in Terceira and is used for many purposes. The planks are the round sides that the sawmill can’t sell, so we get the for free when we order our wood. Perfect!

We levelled our the compost and put a sheet layer of bark. On top of that we layered leaves and old cow dung that we got from a farmer around the corner. The dung is not composted yet so we mixed in some bags of rough saw dust, that we picked up at the furniture work shop. The best  things in life are free!

Yeah but why?

The idea is that the manure will compose quickly with the help of the carbon rich leaves and sawdust. Some parts of the shitheap are already filled with worms, which is a good sign. Hopefully they will stay in their new Sugi Logde.

The lower layer of partly decomposed material and leftovers of twigs and branches will slowly but surely provide nutrients for a long period of time. We hope that this woody material will also stimulate a fungus web in the soil that connects all the dots.

What’s next?

quinta-abbyville-january-web-4

We still need to complete the wooden structure of one arm of the E, that’s first and already a big third of the bed is filled up. When this is finished the waiting game starts. To improve the process we will look for a cover up. Maybe straw that can function as mulch or just a black plastic sheet to boost the temperature a bit.

Keep you posted!

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