This image shows the different layers that make up a Hugelkultur bed. It also shows how different methods of watering (drip or swale) penetrate the mound. I believe I’m right in saying the concept was put forth by Sepp Holzer from Austria.
I love the look of these and think I’ll have a go at one on the allotment at some point in time. It’ll be interesting to see how well the logs act as a sponge to aid with water retention. I’m also interested to see how the heat produced by the rotting wood and also the added heat captured from the sun due to the angle of the bank would affect plant growth. Be fascinatin to do a side by side with more traditional beds, see what I can do.
A few short segments from a documentary about Easter Islands (Rapa Nui) and how it become to be deforested and baron. The ancient Rapanui people did abuse their environment but they were also developing sustainable practices—innovating, experimenting, trying to adapt to a risky environment. They are generally held responsible for cutting down 6,000,000 trees in 300 years (though that is disputed), for example they were also developing new technological and agricultural practices along the way—such as fertilization techniques to restore the health of the soil and rock gardens to protect the plants. “Societies don’t just go into a tailspin and self-destruct,” says Stevenson, an archaeologist at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. “They can and do adapt, and they emerge in new ways. The key is to put more back into the system than is taken out.”
This section of the documentary caught my attention due to this being the first time hearing about “lithic mulching” which is basically putting down rocks to help prevent soil erosion by creating micro climates with rocks, this helped create shade and deterred weeds too. Also not mentioned here is how these volcanic rocks would have eroded down remineralising the soil as they went. Other gardening practices show them growing fruit in caves entrances for shade from elements and building “manavai” stoned circle walls to protect plants from salt winds etc”
This next clip shown above speaks about how the practices of the inhabitants of the island were sustainable. They go on to show a possible indication of water conservation showing gulleys, dams, pavements and what effectively looks to me as water retention, encouraging the water to soak in to stop runoff in heavy rains. Well that or maybe they are “water gardens” or some kind of ancient method of “plumbing” water. They also show how as well as cuttings down tree’s they planted them too.
Several interesting gardening practices some of which today we maybe could call experimentations in “permaculture”.
Original Name: Easter Island Mysteries of a Lost World