United States Edition

Nothing need be wasted: Firewood & Hugelkultur.

Tuesday, 10 Jul 12 Rainy 13°C / 55°F

  • 9
  • Very Happy

In order to keep the home fires burning (and DW as chuffed as can be) we set aside some time to replenish the wood heap.

A fallen tree, that had been started upon by the previous owners, was targeted for clean up and it yielded a surprising amount of well seasoned, mostly solid, firewood. The trunk (photo 5) would be a metre (3’) in diameter and had been cut for stepping stones or seats, which in my mind is a bit of a waste of good timber – I’d have attempted to cut it into planks if it had been me – but it wasn’t, maybe next time now that I’m driving the bus!

There’s easily another truck load of firewood left amongst the grass, and including the trunk but after that, the only thing left will be the canopy and I’m thinking there’s a lot of excellent material there to quickly decompose and form a lovely, high Organic Matter (OM) garden bed full of busy bacteria and in particular active fungi. I’ll finally get to practice Hugelkultur, and in a BIG way too. :-)

So begins the start of the garden expansion at Messmate Farm which I’ll detail in the next journal. Next journal? Purely because I’ve used up the allotted photo space with photos of the Little Truck that did so well enjoying retirement on the farm!


  1. The Little truck that did so well in the move here (It is actually a 6 tonner, it just has a neat sized tray which was perfect for the driveway at the old place) alongside the tree, looking towards the rootball.
  2. From the other side, looking towards the canopy
  3. Canopy and trunk remains
  4. Another shot of the Canopy Hugelkultur material.
  5. A shot of the metre (3’) dia trunk.


This entry is about

North West garden

Very early stages; Heck! It’s actually a before shot!


  • cristina

    cristina wrote:

    I like the ‘atmosphere’ coming from your pics: it’s a new beginning (and what a beginning, among open horizons and old trees!).
    Thank you for sharing
    And I’m already reading about Hugelkultur, very interesting!

    Posted on 11 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • anelson

    anelson wrote:

    Thanks for the Hugelkultur link! Now I am wondering if I have a spot I could use it! I have the wood.

    Posted on 11 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • blurdom

    blurdom wrote:

    Yay! I can’t wait to see how it all works out!

    Posted on 14 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    I would love a tour of Messmate Farm. So glad that you have finished trucking back and fore and have time to survey your new surroundings and plan – very exciting.

    Posted on 14 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    Awesome tree, definitely waiting for proper reuse!

    Posted on 19 Jul 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Just read about the hugelkultur and it sounds like you’re onto something there. I’m glad to be looking over your shoulder through this process- maybe sometime in the next few years I will be trying to replicate some of your successes, learning from your failures.

    Will you be planting some fruit trees?

    Posted on 22 Aug 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    Wow! A month has gone by and no progress worth mentioning – more plans, but no progress. :-( I’m getting twitchy waiting for the tractor to arrive. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! (So much to do, so little time – believe it or not. )

    @halhurst. Hopefully you can learn from my success’s too ;-), but yes it’s all a steep learning curve with Mother Nature having a greater say in it (or perhaps ‘more impact’) than she’s had before. Yep, fruit trees and fodder trees (tagaste, carob, lillypilly) will be in the mix. There are some fruit trees here already, a row of which are espaliered – and I really need to find that camera cable. :-(

    Posted on 22 Aug 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • halhurst

    halhurst wrote:

    Not to say I expect a lot of failures on your blog. I am anticipating hearing about many glorious successes in your work. But of course, failures are sometimes better teachers, as long as you can figure out why. (note to self, try not to test too many variables at once!) When one gets a great crop of delicious tomatoes one often focuses on the color, flavor, and quantity, and just say “I’ll have to do that again next year.” If the crop is more disappointing one tends to focus on the technique- cultivar, spacing, when planted, soil qualities, rainfall and irrigation, pollination, and temperature.

    As you twitch in anticipation, maybe you can channel that energy into greasing the skids. Progress is more than bustin’ sod. That skullwork you are doing, and have been doing for a long time, will pay off once you get your iron horse and hitch it up. And there are preparations you can make, like gathering your supplies. And replacing your camera cable!

    Posted on 22 Aug 12 (almost 3 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @halhurst. Don’t worry, the skids are well greased. As is the dog, the door frame, the steering wheel, and the box holding the new coffee cups (the last ones slipped out of my hand for some reason.) The horses bridle too, but she keeps champing on it so I’ve taken it off. :-)
    I must admit I’ve become a bit stubborn about that cable – I know it’s here somewhere and I refuse to play games with the gods and buy one – yet!

    Posted on 22 Aug 12 (almost 3 years ago)

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