new hugelkultur micro documentary

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by paul wheaton, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    My friend Bart and I are making a new micro documentary on hugelkultur. For $1 of support to our current kickstarter, you get access. If the full kickstarter gets 3000 supporters, we will release it to the world!

    And there's lots of other stuff in this kickstarter - the primary focus being the 3-DVD earthworks dvd.

    https://kck.st/1jtmswG
     
  2. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I recently read in a study that briefly mentioned bacteria locks the nutrients of compost cellulose away from plants. A couple of questions I would have: Does the nutrients eventually get released? Does this effect the relationship fungi has in breaking down cellulose? Obvioulsy these are important considerations in hugelkultur. I don't know if this idea is true, but is worth researching.
     
  3. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    Based on what little I know, there are at least 20,000 white papers on things that would happen within a hugelkultur bed. Many of them contradict each other. I suspect that as our knowledge set grows, we will find that they are all correct - conflicts and all. Because our knowledge set is still smaller than the complexity of what is really going on inside.

    Rather than focusing on one or even 20 different bits of research, I suppose that my own approach is focus on my ignorance in the face of the massive symphony that is "THE Truth" of what his happening. I choose to embrace that there is more going on than I can possibly comprehend, and try to follow the general recipe of: more diversity is better. So I like to have lots of diversity within my hugelkultur beds.

    So I feel like I am shamelessly dodging your direct question, while offering a cheap justification for my dodge.
     
  4. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I can envision playing a dodgeball game against you, I don't know, by the looks of it you are a large target.. Ha!

    Sure, the results are everyone's main focus. Diversity is smart as if one plant fails, a woody bush might succeed because of the failure. I have quite a few hugelkulturs going myself, the oldest will be two years old next summer, so I have skin in the game. My point is only to keep this idea in mind, that bacteria can lock up nutrients. If there are any hugelbeds that are not performing, then researching why would be important - if that is really your point to this campaign.

    Any hugelbed not working well ought to be intensely studied!
     
  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    My hugel bed is not performing. It's too dry here and even though I provided "starter" liquid of nearly 6000 gallons last spring ensuring the copious wood was saturated, mulched heavily and had a thick, diverse cover crop ... by autumn when I cored the bed, it was dust inside. I'm not convinced that semi-arid country is appropriate for hugelkultur, but I'll have another go at it in a new location this year.
     
  6. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    I am a giant target. Playing dodgeball against me is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.

    I think the best way to dodge nitrogen immobilization is to use BIG chunks of wood.

    I have seen a lot of hugelkultur beds where I think "why would you do that? that seems like it would not work!" But, it does seem like we are new enough at this to still try LOTS of experimenting.
     
  7. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    Bill! I moved closer to you. Please come over and play! I have lots of toys!

    Do you still have those big sticks in the top?

    Do you have mulch? Do you have updated pictures? It's been over a year since I've seen your pictures.
     
  8. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    No. I'm not typing about nitrogen capture, as that is more a function of an inbalanced carbon/nitrogen ratio. The issue I read was bacteria consuming cellulose was locking the nutrients from plants. Someone posted the study on this site a week or so ago, first I've read about it..

    I was wondering, who was your PDC teacher?
     
  9. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    My PDC teacher was Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski. Who was yours?
     
  10. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Geoff Lawton. I also read the manual. Been thinking my next book is Mollison's fermentation book, here https://www.tagari.com/store/12. This summer I'm taking an advanced course at Mark Shapard's farm, can hardly wait for it. I'll have to check out this Skeeter guy, I wonder how he got that nick! I've began Earthworking 40 acres and have made plans for a small community, but the funds are kind of short. I have been watching your use of Kickstarter with much interest and may do a campaign to help it building small earth homes, as the property has plenty enough clay. Did you see some of the work that has been done? Right here:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCRYtmkDsX-XF0F4vPZrYv3m6TbmBZ3_
     
  11. paul wheaton

    paul wheaton Junior Member

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    Skeeter is a lovely guy. He has superpowers in the wildcrafting department.

    Funds are short here too. Hence the kickstarters. We do a kickstarter and we instantly use up the spare funds for projects, then we want to do another.

    I followed your youtube link and it showed me a video about clouds?
     
  12. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    You will see a series of videos posted. The top picture is a header, I caught a walleye ice fishing right at sunset. Great memory.
     
  13. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Last August we made a large hugelkulture with.....books! Yep, we had a few thousand books from a book store we closed; old stuff to go to the recyclers. Thought a hugelkulture would be a better use. :) We added some very old humus with lots of fungi in it from around the base of our huge eucalypt trees. We added a couple of logs we had lying close by for good measure and soaked it all thoroughly. Then we planted buckwheat on the slopes; some false dandelion and wild sorrel self seeded and we also planted pumpkins. But we went ahead and planted an apple tree and a peach on the top too! So far through this horrendously hot summer they have been doing well with minimal watering. Will be interesting to see how it goes in the future. :)
    Yesterday we made three conventional smaller hugelkulture beds with chopped aged radiata pine, woody branches from mainly eucalypts and grass hay mulch, bark, whatever was lying around. Today we are planting them with a variety of beans and peas and later in autumn I will put some vetch on them too. We live in a very dry area for 6 months a year so it will remain to be seen how they perform.
     
  14. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    You are awesome mouse! What is your annual rainfall?

    Bill, are your hugelkultures above ground? Do you think sinking them would make any difference? Would love to hear more about your experiences.

    Paul, will the micro-doc be available on download, or streaming only? ETA?
     
  15. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Thanks pebble! :) I think our annual average rainfall is around 540mm but we have had quite a bit less than that the last couple of years and it looks like this is going to be the trend as we head into a climate change(d) future. Last year/s we had NO rain from mid-September 2012 to end of May 2013. We then had a wet spring which worked well as it meant the 'Book Ridge' hugelkulture got a good soaking. :)
     
  16. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I'll second that pebble :)
    That's a pretty awesome project mouse :) Go you! :)
    (Although I was a bit stunned about the books - having just agreed with pebble that books are above our budget!!! ) :)
    Sounds like you've got it all happening down there in SA :)
     
  17. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Don't fret about the books - they were mostly Mills & Boon and other atrocious 70's pulp fiction - we kept the good stuff ;)
     
  18. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    lol ... I'm sure I've read some Mills & Boon novels ... I can't remember where ... I must have been in a damn tight spot somewhere :) Maybe it was when I lived on Fraser Island? ... if you ran out of reading material there before you were due to take your leave on the mainland you were stuffed ... there was only the crap in the games room left :) I will read absolutely anything if I'm in a corner :)
    OMG! - that reminds me of a story I have to tell you ... one of my favourite stories :) It involves reading & tattoo's :) I meant to tell you before, & forgot. It'll have to wait until at least later, & maybe tomorrow - I'm pooped :)

    Did I tell you someone gave me a copy of "The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton? I loved it :) And the plot revolves around ships - among other things ... it's quite complex :) I was waiting & hoping for the expression "jury rigged" to come up, & was dreadfully disappointed when it didn't :) :) :)
     
  19. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    And there's a story in "The Penguin Anthology Of Australian Women's Writing" - edited by Dale Spender - that I love. I can't remember who wrote it or what the name of it is & I can't find my copy of the Anthology : / Anyway ... it's more or less a sophisticated Mills & Boon saga :)

    And I think we're hijacking another thread ... sigh ... so easily done ... : / :) :( :)
     
  20. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey Paul, thanks for the invite! We'll look for a window to come by or maybe get in on a class.

    Naw, all the sticks were well buried. Sequence was dig out about 3 feet, fill with seasoned wood and crush, cover with first soil/compost and water, then cover more with soil, plant copiously and mulch. Watered a couple of times to get the cover crops growing well and to keep them going during the hottest of the summer.

    I figure that there is too much surface area (mound is about four feet tall plus three feet beneath grade). Dry, hot winds basically mummified the thing. We're in the process of building a website and I'll post pics of the first hugel experiment in detail there.
     

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