Saturday, October 20, 2012

Making hugelkulturs

I have spent a couple days laying around reading and sleeping too much.
We have been planning what projects we are going to start in the yard, more planning than action. Although there was good progress made on one of my epic holes in the ground. Kate was helping me dig too.

In March I started a hugelkultur garden in one far corner of the backyard. I made eleven garden beds using this permaculture method pioneered by Sep Holzer, a famous Austrian farmer.
Hugelkultur basically means "hill culture". The process is simple. You dig a hole throw logs, branches, then leaves and other organic things in covering them with a hill of dirt and compost. The theory is that the logs hold water decomposing slowly releasing nitrogen. The later layers decompose more swiftly making the bed a viable growing area immediately and continually without much effort.

The original plan has twenty of these hugelkulturs, the yard is already spotted with them front and back. There are many more planned in different areas. The established beds are flourishing late into the season still. We have more basil and green bell peppers than we know what to do with. We planted five pineapple tops that have grown quite large and are companion planted with marigolds that always have seven monarch butterflies lazily flying and hopping between them.

We have a lot of plans for the yard. There is a spot cleared for the planting of an orchard. Spots for the pecan tree, neem tree, and olive tree we have to find to plant. We are going to build a little pond using Sepp's technique. A garden patio/ outdoor cooking/ hang out space has been outlined with brick in the middle of the backyard. It will be covered with a steel frame structure on which will grow grapes and fragrant climbing flowers. Dad is planning to have a couple well placed palm trees to set it off.

There are very exciting plans for a little hobbit house, still searching for the perfect placement for that. We are going to convert the garage into two rooms, a studio and bedroom. Build another covered garage with a storage room for the garden supplies, mower, and other gear. Looking at plans and pictures of pallet buildings, which can be very cool.

Today Dad and I went to the bamboo forest to investigate. We are digging some up tomorrow to transplant it to our yard. Our plan is to grow a bamboo fence and seclude the house behind a bamboo curtain. The bamboo in the forest grows to be about 75 ft tall. We planted the bamboo we dug out today.

Dad and I went on a hike the other day and found some really cool mushrooms. Talked about leading bike tours to visit Texas wineries or kayak tours of the San Jacinto River and other local waterways.

Found out that my brother Ian can't bring my gear down for me. So at some point I will have to trek back to Elko to pick it up. All these crazy plans are going to cost money so I have devised another set of crazy plans to fund them. My Dad shot down the plan of becoming a prison guard because he doesn't think I would fare well. This is probably true because I would probably shoot someone at the slightest provocation. One of the ideas I had after hearing about a local guy that trains fighters was to become a prize fighter. I think I would be pretty good at it...I am still thinking about it.
One of my concerns about this is how I would take a loss. I always say I don't play games I might lose. Another idea is to collect pecans and sell them by the lb. If you all need pecans I can mail them to you $13 a pound.

I have had numerous other ideas that aren't as interesting. Build my own bamboo furniture, make huge chicken wire and concrete urns, sell produce to local restaurants or get a job.

Getting a job would be the most difficult so I am still toying with the idea of becoming a prize fighter.


  1. I love it! What great ideas you have! (All except being a prison guard)... I want to come see your garden!

  2. David and I are thinking about coming to visit during spring break....if you can wait that long. Love the garden plans!

  3. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I
    to find this matter to be really one thing which I feel I
    might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very large for me.
    I am having a look forward in your next post, I'll try to get the hold of it!

    Here is my web site - Boutique Air Jordan