Hugelkultur at MacLeish

11 Dec

Below is a post by CEEDS intern Julia Graham, ’16 about some of her work at the MacLeish Field Station. Julia is an environmental science and policy major and is completing the environmental concentration: sustainable food. She is very interested in global food policy and the effects of imperialism on our current food structure. Julia hopes to be able to apply all that she has learned towards changing the food system. She also hopes to work with youth, and use the process of producing food to educate them about the world around them ( history, health, ecology, etc.)

jsgraham2014

View from the southern field. View from the southern field at the MacLeish Field Station.

At MacLeish, we have spent the past month preparing to plant our comfrey root stock by building a raised hugelkultur bed in the fruit orchard. Hugelkultur is a permaculture technique that was developed by Sepp Holzer, who has a large permaculture plot in Austria (http://www.holzeragroecology.com/). A hugelkultur bed is built by piling compost on top of rotting wood. It retains moisture and the rotting wood provides a long-lasting fertilizer for plants.

hugel bed Overview of a hugelkultur raised bed. http://www.inspirationgreen.com/hugelkultur.html

Over the next few weeks, we will finish the hugelkultur bed by piling sticks from the surrounding woods and fill in the bed with compost. Our comfrey roots will hopefully be in the ground before the ground freezes so they have a nice bed for the winter. We plan to “chop-and-drop” the comfrey leaves around the base of the fruit trees. The…

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