Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hügelkultur. Bury your CO2.

Hügelkultur or Mound Culture

Hügelkultur: A permaculture farming technique from Germany.
Here is the progression from Silver Maple to mound, which began in late spring and took much of the summer, off and on. Rather than let all the carbon stored in the wood of the tree rot and escape back into the atmosphere, I decided to bury as much as possible in a pit and pile up the wood into a hugelkultur (mound), which I would cover with soil and grow on. The rotting logs become like sponges and help water the plants and trees growing on and around the mound, and help build up a rich ecosystem of mycelia.
* If you have a bad back or you don't want to spend weeks digging the pit, rent a bobcat or backhoe. Actually, you only need to dig down a little bit so you have soil to pile on top of the mound.
The 90 or 100-year-old Silver (or Water) Maple and the
back of our house.
This beautiful tree was losing its vitality; the outer canopy was mostly
without foliage.

We just installed 14 solar PV panels to generate most or all of our electricity.

We read tree poems, quotes, and surrounded the tree with a garland.
During the ritual I toasted its long life with a shot of tequila and we drank
in gratitude.

Haeja is a good squatter.
With Ada, Julia, Pablo and Daniela

Blessing and honoring the tree.

Small hugelkultur with tomatoes and basil in front of tree.

As part of the ritual, the participants began digging the hugelkultur pit
into which we would bury the logs where they would begin a new
journey as soil in service to feeding people.
Son Elias and his dog Miles with Daniela and Julia

Haeja digging

Son Julian, Miles, Haeja and Ada.
Miles the Dog would become an excellent assistant to Andrew
in digging the pit and breaking up and moving soil.


Alfonzo, his relatives and an expert climber came to skillfully fell the tree.
Hugelkultur pit in foreground.

A single pole remained

Only logs and wood chips remained. I had them leave about 12 feet of
trunk so I can carve a totem or sculpture of some sort.

The pit deepens with some night digging.

All was done by hand. Nephew Pablo put in a few hours and the
rest was done by Andrew, with some enthusiastic help from Miles!

Getting there...

The pit finished, now I just piled with logs, going from large to small,
with branches on top.

Then I filled in and covered it with clay and many wheelbarrows
of wood chips.

Higher and higher...

More recent ones to come. I've just planted a cover crop on it - crimson
clover, winter rye and hairy vetch.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the economics of happiness

Consider that apples grown in the UK are shipped to South Africa to be waxed and shipped back and sold in English supermarkets. Our food system is broken. Our economic system is broken. So . . . let's fix it. The second half of "The Economics of Happiness" shows some ways forward. Here is an interview an MSNBC with Holena Norberg-Hodge, the creator.

Monday, December 06, 2010

We have no choice

Actually, we do have a choice -- to let nature's limits force the change (not a pretty sight!) or try to adapt our ways, which will mean sacrifice but might help us avoid all out chaos.

This is fabulous! And where do they get these guys that can draw so fast?!