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Kara Shepard-Poat

Operations Manager

Kara Shepard-Poat

Operations Manager

Skillshare Action Day with Hugelkultur

by | Jul 20, 2017 | Skillshares | 2 comments

For this Skillshare Action Day, we got to get our hands in the dirt and learn about Hugelkultur with this gal Sarah Wagstaff.

Hügelkultur, originating in Germany, is a composting process employing raised beds constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.

Sarah is a Landscape Designer and gardening enthusiast who began implementing Hügelkultur in 2012 with her husband, at their home in Burlington, WA. She gave us a fabulous introductory presentation by giving us the background of Hügelkultur and a small-scale demonstration of how to build a Hügel, or mound. She provided supplementary material for different shapes and methods of building Hugels, as well as informing us of local Composting 101 workshops held in Skagit County.

She also presented pictures to show us how her own property has transformed since she began the process, then lead us on a walk-through around her property so we could see the full glamour of this practice. From ornamental to edible, her property held more than 100 plants.

After seeing the layout, it was time for some hands-on learning. Sarah set each of us up with a different task in the garden and taught each of us the assigned job individually. Then, after about 15 minutes, we would rotate jobs and teach each other what we’d just learned how to do. We all helped to pile a truckload of new composted soil onto her newest Hügel project, and we all learned to harvest a variety of different plants.

As a team, rotating and teaching one another, we harvested peas, beans, blueberries, currants, garlic scape, broccoli, poppy flowers and seeds, oregano, radishes, and even some cabbage for the chickens! We finished by planting a variety of new plants onto the Hügel we had just helped build. Sarah was blown away by how much we accomplished in just a few hours. She expressed that, by herself, she could only have finished one of those tasks in a single day. It shows us just how much we can achieve when we work together!

As a team, rotating and teaching one another, we harvested peas, beans, blueberries, currants, garlic scape, broccoli, poppy flowers and seeds, oregano, radishes, and even some cabbage for the chickens! We finished by planting a variety of new plants onto the Hügel we had just helped build. Sarah was blown away by how much we accomplished in just a few hours. She expressed that, by herself, she could only have finished one of those tasks in a single day. It shows us just how much we can achieve when we work together!

Hügelkultur, originating in Germany, is a composting process employing raised beds constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials. The process helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.

To cap off the day, her partner cooked us dinner from the very ingredients we had just harvested. After some good conversation with new friends, we all went home with seeds, plants, and an amazing learning experience.