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Hugelkultur: A Permaculture Plan for Shiitake Mushroom 'Waste'

| 12/28/2016 10:28:00 AM


When we are doing cleanup at the log yard, we usually just bag up the leaves to put on the potatoes later. We typically will have bags and bags! We also have a lot of decaying material from aged mushroom logs — this material is wonderful! We just move the logs to an area and just keep piling on and let them break down. This fall, I started thinking: I need to incorporate this material into a more usable and sustainable plan.

What is Hugelkultur?

Most definitions are simple: German for hill mound or "hill culture". It's considered a form of no-dig gardening. It is sometimes referred to as a raised garden, garden bed, or a type permaculture gardening with downed logs.

You can read about this form of gardening and find many different variations and ideas. I suggest, as I always suggest, use a method that fits your needs and situation. The beds can be just that — raised beds. The more traditional type/size will be from 3-5 feet tall, tapering at top (in a mound) and can be as wide as you want or as narrow.

Basic Material Needed for a Hugelkultur 'Build'

These materials will be used in layers.

Wood is the major component to your build. Wood can mean anything from cut cordwood to pruned branches to downed/dead material you can find lying about. This material will break down and be "usable" for some time — it's not just seasonal gardening. Most often, the "wood" material will be used as the first layer. If you have green or fresh wood, this should be used as the first layer. (All green or un-aged materials should be used near the ground layers with the more mature and aged materials on the top layer). We will be using mostly our decayed mushroom logs and leaves that are raked up from around our logs.

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