Ben Zumeta wrote:I know the reasons to go big, but I think a seven foot minimum is a bit excessive. I have built thousands of square feet of hugel, and in a place with almost no summer rain for 4-6months. I think the tallest is 7ft from the bottom of the path that the base soil came from, but that was with an excavator. Going taller than 4-5ft almost requires heavy equipment to be safe and efficient. The work it takes to keep going up beyond 4-5ft with wheel barrows and people with hand tools is not entirely safe (I work with high school and college interns as well as little kids and retiree volunteers that I feel obligated to keep safe), and that same work could get 2-3x as much volume of shorter hugels in. If you have the space, I’d go out before going up above 5ft in this climate. I have seen my 4ft hugels go unwatered all summer (though it’s not very hot here) and have happy trees and perennials. I do have humus catchment basins filled with woody debris and chips for paths around them, so that adds 1.5ft to their effective height, but still I think a 7ft minimum is not necessary, discourages people from trying hugelkulture, and can be unsafe if the job is done by hand without careful staging. I love the badge bit idea and thank all those working on the PEP programs, this is just my two cents on an aspect of permaculture I have spent several years working on and observing.
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