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Sophie Thomas

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since Jan 17, 2013
I am starting a small 3 acre homestead on the west coast of BC. This has been a lifelong dream of mine and now that I am graduating, jobless and have semi-inherited my family's acreage I can finally pursue that dream
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Recent posts by Sophie Thomas

Cool idea with the cardboard! I will give that a try for some of the smaller gardens

I don't like the idea of removing the sod and we weren't really on the ball last fall so we didn't do any tilling or other prep. Any that we do remove will go to the hugelkultur beds that I am giving a whirl.

I agree that it is easier than it seemed to be taught back when I was in school. My family originated in Wales and Scotland and we have a long tradition of farming but my parents were more career focused when I was younger so it hasn't been until recently that I have been able to benefit from their insight. I have certainly appreciated the suggestions from people on here as well!
That all sounds good to me

I went out the other day and was digging around and thought, the frost is gone, why can't I plant? But like I've said I've read so many conflicting things!

I planted radishes and broccoli yesterday along with some kale and spinach. I also through some chives down. I started several plants inside weeks ago but the cat got into them last week and ruined all of them.

The main veggie garden is still under grass right now along with some aggressive invasives that popped up this year. I am not concerned with clearing land or anything like that but the invasive plants need to come out before I plant.

I am actually not on a bus route! I live way up in the back of Mission on a small acreage. If you have any other ways of travelling...

Thank you so much for the info! And I'm excited to see another member from BC!

I am very, very new to large gardens and I am struggling to know what to plant and when. I have scoured the internet looking for info and everyone says something different. I have now looked through the many (over ambitious) number of seed bags and written out a rough plan but based on the info from the seed packs, I am not planting according to many websites.

Essentially I am planting based on what the weather and soil says- not very reliable for a newbie.

Is there anyone in the Lower Mainland (or similar area) that can give me some tips??

Thank you so much!!
I've looked around a bit for the article on his Montana build but haven't been able to find it. I'll keep looking

I did find illustrated instructions on his style of hugelkulture and it looks like there is typically a considerable amount of wood making up the base for the beds. Followed by an inverted layer of sod and then a layer of humus.

There was some mention that he does not like to provide stone or wood borders but there was no rationale for it. Does anyone know why this is a preferred method?
7 years ago
The local sawmill has said that it is only unprocessed wood chips and bark. So nothing else should be in it at all.

I don't have a ready source of manure anymore- haven't done for about 7 years. I have a massive amount of 7 year old manure and fresh chicken manure.

That land is currently not being used but isn't barren (that pic is from our wettest and coldest time of year). It used to have horses and occasionally cows on it. We tore down the fences last year and still have not come up with a use for it that we can agree on :-/ It does need some serious tending if it is to become crop productive though.
7 years ago
It's basically just a by-product of mill work- a mixture of wood chips, bark, etc. People used to be concerned that chemicals from the wood would leach out but I'm not sure how accurate or realistic that concern is. I have never quite understood what chemicals and from where. Perhaps it is an unknown mixture of different woods which would be a concern in terms of potential toxicity?

In the picture, the hog fuel is the dark area covered in wood with the small stack of fence posts.
7 years ago
I am going to start a few hugelkultur beds with some old fence posts and I have some considerable space where we used to have a hog fuel riding ring. The hog fuel has not been replaced for at least 15 years- would this be safe to build the beds on?

Here is a picture to show the hog fuel (it's the only pic I have of it).

7 years ago
I'm definitely going to give it a try!

I have a healthy number of unusable fence posts that I will use for the hugelkultur beds
7 years ago
Great! Thank you for sending that link along
7 years ago
Has anyone taken a comparison?

I LOVE the idea of hugelkultur and plan on starting several beds myself this spring but has anyone directly compared the productivity of their flatbed crops to their crops grown on hugelbeds?

This question does not take into consideration the ease of using this form of farming nor does it consider irrigation. Purely productivity.

Has anyone noticed a difference when making this switch?
7 years ago