by Todd Walker
The cornerstone of our Doing the Stuff Network is trading theory for ACTION!
As you may recall, we challenged each of you to learn at least one new skill in 4014 that builds self-reliance. Just pick a skill you’ve always wanted to learn or improve, set a time frame for completion, and share your progress with our community.
With his permission, we are spot lighting Dave DeWitt, a fellow DTS Networker, who has built an amazing hugelcultur raised bed this year. For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, hugelcultur is an old form of raised bed gardening that requires no tilling and little to no irrigation. This style of growing food has been used for years and is very popular with permiculture practitioners.
Hugelcultur beds have many benefits:
- Grow food in inhospitable climates (drought) and terrain (rocky and hard clay)
- Self watering – decaying wood acts like a sponge to hold and release moisture plants need
- Decomposing wood releases heat to extend growing season in cold climates
- Decaying wood prevents nutrients from being washed away into ground water
- Air pockets are created in the raised bed to keep soil from becoming compacted
- Creates a microbe rich environment for mycelium
- Releases nitrogen which plants love
- Makes good use of fallen trees and branches from storms that don’t make it into your supply of firewood
- Works in deserts and backyards
Dave planted three typical raised beds last year and was inspired by his friend at Schooner Farms (Facebook page) to give hugelcultur a try. He converted one of his raised beds to a hugelcultur bed this year.
Here’s his photo tutorial of the stuff he’s doing…
The dimensions of Dave’s hugelcultur bed are 8′ x 24′ with a 34″ block wall. He wouldn’t recommend making beds this tall. He stands 6′-2″ and can barely reach the middle of the bed. Plan accordingly. Also, the cinder blocks were filled with top soil and compost for added growing space. This addition grows his garden from to just under 200 square feet of garden space.
With all the materials on hand, this could be a weekend project. Dave has about 14 hours in this project. Seems like a lot of work, but the upfront investment will pay off with less maintenance and time in the growing season in Ohio.
Nothing inspires like seeing people busy Doing the Stuff! This network of everyday people are not just talking theory, they are testing and experimenting with stuff in the many categories of self-reliance and self-sufficiency skills.
If you’ve ever used hugelcultur beds, successfully or not, we’d like your feedback. Leave your thoughts in the comment section – or join the discussion on the Doing the Stuff Network and keep with all the updates from our members!
We want to thank Dave for his value-adding tutorial and inspiration!
Keep Doing the Stuff, friends!
P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper sites while you’re there…
Thanks for sharing the stuff!
Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a rare third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.