What is a HugelKultur?
Have extra twigs, dead trees, leaves and other compost AND you want an incredibly efficient and self-sustaining way to garden? You should try a centuries old method of creating HugelKultur. Very simply put, you build a long shallow trench, add some logs, top with twigs, leaves and other compost, then cover with soil. You plant right on top of the HugelKultur and you have a long-lasting, self fertilizing, self aerating, self watering raised garden bed.
The process of using HugelKultur has been used in Germany and Central Europe for centuries, and is based on a very simple premise that you are emulating the natural way that plant life decays on the forest floor and re-enters the eco system, but with a little engineering added by man.
HugelKultur are becoming increasingly popular in urban environments where gardening can be difficult, and are incredibly useful if you have a cabin and want to make the most out of the resources around you without having to tend to your garden every day. Moreover, it doesn’t have to specifically be used for traditional gardening such as vegetables or flowering plants, it can be used for mushrooms, wildlife feeding, or just for improving the quality of the land that you own.
Advantages for having a HugelKultur on a rustic property:
Making a Basic HugelKultur
You don’t have to be a gardening expert to make your first HugelKultur, you just need to know the basics. Here are some tips on making your first one:
This Book Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About HugelKutlur:
Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 1,500 meters above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, waterways and tracks, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, with the farmhouse neatly nestling amongst them. This is in dramatic contrast to his neighbors’ spruce monocultures.In this book, Holzer shares the skill and knowledge acquired over his lifetime. He covers every aspect of his farming methods, not just how to create a holistic system on the farm itself, but how to make a living from it.
Rustic Living uses for HugelKultur
HugelKultur’s are most often used for traditional gardening, as they are very practical and popular with people concerned about eco-friendly sustainability. However, they are wonderful if you have a lot of property. In fact, they might be the perfect answer to many rustic property owners. Consider:
Other Suggested Reading
If you like the idea of HugelKultur, we recommend two books for anyone that has land to manage. They don’t specifically deal with HugelKultur, but with how to truly master how to manage your property: “The Woodland Homestead: How to Make Your Land More Productive and Live More Self-Sufficiently in the Woods” and “A Landowner’s Guide to Managing Your Woods: How to Maintain a Small Acreage for Long-Term Health, Biodiversity, and High-Quality Timber Production“.
We recommend the new Amazon grocery delivery service. Great for cabin owners:
Also published on Medium.