Archive for the ‘Hugelkulture’ Category

The new Echium Bee Bed is filling in well.  From the lobelia in the front to the tallest Tower of Jewels echium plant, they all attract bees.

The new Echium Bee Bed is filling in well. From the colorful lobelia in front to the tallest Tower of Jewels echium plant, they all attract bees.

July 3...Hugelkulture bed is looking so much better since we weeded, planted, and mulched with compost and wood chips.

July 3…The Hugelkulture bed is looking so much better since we weeded, planted, and mulched with compost and wood chips.

A view from our garden bench in July reveals the garden in full glory.

A view from our garden bench in July reveals the garden in full glory.

July 3...The dwarf sunflowers are open and attracting bees already.  It's older siblings can only watch with envy.

July 3…The dwarf sunflowers are open and attracting bees already. It’s older siblings can only watch with envy.

This deer seems to be asking me the question...

This deer seems to be asking me the question…”What are you doing out here at this time in the evening, this is MY time?”  In the video you’ll see why she looked up…she picked up the sound of the camera’s zoom lens.  Their hearing is phenomenal, but luckily their eyesight isn’t that good.  I’m standing in the sunlight just a short distance away, but she can’t see me very well.

Arrrgh!  Deer damage!

Arrrgh! Deer damage!

I'm not sure if there's any reason to net what's left of these potatoes.  They have been stripped of their leaves by the 'cute' deer. :(

I’m not sure if there’s any reason to net what’s left of these potatoes. They have been stripped of their leaves by the ‘cute’ deer. 😦

I mulched this corn in the morning...by the afternoon, the deer had already sampled it.  A temporary fence is now in place to protect it...I hope it recovers.

I mulched this corn in the morning…by the afternoon, the deer had already sampled it. A temporary fence is now in place to protect it…I hope it recovers.

This tomato's only crime was to be planted at the end of the bed where the deer could reach it easily.

This tomato’s only crime was to be planted at the end of the bed where the deer could reach it easily.

Planted from seed last year, these Hollyhocks have survived the deer twice.   We're so happy to finally see the blooms, but we've yet to see the bees on them.

Planted from seed last year, these Hollyhocks have survived the deer twice. We’re so happy to finally see the blooms, but we’ve yet to see any bees on them.

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We've got a good start, though some sunflower seedlings got chewed down by the slugs

6-3-13 We’ve got a good start, though some sunflower seedlings got chewed down by the slugs

Lots of self-seeded borage.  The bees like it, but I'm going to have to thin it.  I want the other plants to grow and I'm especially excited about the meadowfoam.

6-18-13 Lots of self-seeded borage. The bees like it, but I’m going to have to thin it. I want the other plants to grow and I’m especially excited about the meadowfoam which also is a self-seeding bee-loving flower.  The bee hives and the new bee flower garden are in the background.

My new motto is..."If the bees love it, leave it.

August 19, 2013…My new slogan is…”If the bees love it, leave it.”  The bees LOVE borage.  I let it grow in the Hugelkulture bed even though it’s not real pretty.  The pretty flower, Poached Egg Meadowfoam was also well liked by the bees, then the deer spotted it, now it’s gone.

Looking at the north side.   Clearly I should have listened to my wife when she warned me that squash wouldn't do very well the first year.

Looking at the north side. Clearly I should have listened to my wife when she warned me that squash wouldn’t do very well the first year.  In that regard, it’s a failure…but the main goal was to grow plants that the bees love.  Nasturtiums never made the list.  Don’t let anyone tell you they are deer proof.  They are not and I never saw a bee get close to one.  The borage self-seeded itself and the bees love it, so rather than pull it, I’ll just let it grow.  The bees will sip nectar until late in the evening, so in that regard, it’s a success.  We also added 3 echium ‘trees’, which seem to be doing well.  We hope they will all shoot up to be “Towers of Jewels.”

The beginning of this project…

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This little patch of land is going to be the hugulkulture bed

This little patch of land is going to be the hugel kulture bed

My son started looking at perma culture ideas.  “Hey Dad, I was thinking about building a Hugelkulture bed.  You put in logs that are loaded with mycelium and plant in them.  You don’t ever need to water.”  “That’s interesting,” I said, “but you don’t have any room for something like that.”  “No, but YOU do.”  That’s true and I’m always game for trying out a new idea.  My son has helped me so much.  He installed my solar projects, roofed my house and shop, and repaired a bunch of rotten siding on the house.  Why NOT try this out?  I’ve got lots of rotting logs too.

Pick and shovel work

Pick and shovel work.  I don’t think I’ll go down any deeper because I’ll hit water at this time of year.

This will be a little experiment.  I’d like to plant bee-loving flowers like Nasturtiums, Wall flowers,  and other flowers which the deer won’t eat so I don’t have to fence it in.

The next weekend I was working on a burn pile of  accumulated storm debris.  This had been piled up for a few months.  We wanted to get the place cleaned up for visitors, this weekend it wasn’t raining, so it must be done NOW!  Everything was so wet it, it was going to be an all day affair.  As the fire got built up, I started pulling out branches to burn and starting seeing wonderful mushrooms and examples of mold.  I didn’t want to destroy this beautiful living organism, so I started collecting it for my hugelkulture bed.

White tinged dusty pink mushrooms on log.  It would be a shame to burn it...toss it into the pit.

White tinged dusty pink mushrooms on log. It would be a shame to burn it…toss it into the bed.

Yellowish mold on branch

Yellowish mold on branch…into the bed.

White mold on stick

White mold on stick

Whitish pink mold on branch, toss.

Whitish pink mold on branch, save it for the bed.

This log is saturated, look at the moss growing one it.  Good candidate for the pit.

This log is saturated, look at the moss growing one it. Good candidate for the bed.

I figured the mushrooms and mold grew because it was in contact with the wet branches and bamboos leaves, so I better add them to the mix.

I figured the mushrooms and mold grew because it was in contact with the wet branches and bamboo leaves, so I better add them to the mix.

Double split-pea soup made from scratch from my sweetie, so I could have something to eat while I tended the fire.

Double split-pea soup made from scratch by my sweetie, so we could eat while I tended the fire.

Not as neat and tidy as the Hugelkulture web site, but hey, let's face it, nature is messy.

Not as neat and tidy as the Hugelkulture web site, but hey, let’s face it, nature is messy.

Rotting firewood, mold all over it...into the bed

Rotting firewood, mold all over it…into the bed

Are the drops of sap feeding the mycellium?

Are these drops of sap? Are they feeding the mycellium?  I don’t know, but it’ll be good for the bed.

What it looks like so far

What it looks like so far

Added more rotting logs this end

Added more rotting logs this end

Centipede roaming around in the power wagon...into the bed!

Centipede roaming around in the power wagon…into the bed!

I think it's done..."Honey, you can shovel all the dirt in now..."

I think it’s ready…”Honey, you can shovel all the dirt in now…”

The folks at Shroomery were kind enough to tell me what the ‘mushrooms’ are…”metabolites, fungal pipi, or mycelial piss.”

Hugelkulture Update

More interesting mushrooms…

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