• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Stacie Kim
  • Jay Angler
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Listen Online

Get all of the Podcasts in convenient, giant zip files
Subscribe on iTunes


Paul calls up another person who parted with real money to get a rundown of their property – this time Nate from Saint Paul in Minnesota.  As if Paul didn’t have enough of an ego…

When he bought the property, there was a micro-retaining wall made from apparently railroad ties.  Paul recommends removing it because if it is made of rail ties, it’s full of toxic gick, and if it isn’t rail ties, it’s probably full of said toxins.  The stones he has are quite rounded, so using them for dry stacks is going to be difficult, but seeing as the retaining wall is so small, but what he can do is layer stone and soil at a 45 degree angle to make a sort-of retaining wall.  Turns out that Paul and Nate are on similar wavelengths as he’d already started doing exactly that.

Nate wants his entire front lawn to be a permaculture garden, to which end Paul suggests putting some two feet wide raised beds about a foot away from the curb where water gathers and there’s plenty of sun, whilst leaving enough room for foot traffic and car doors.  Maybe even with some hugelkultur-esque structure on the inside part.  He’d also put a more proper hugelkultur at 4.5 feet tall and 4 wide parallel to the path that goes to the house, with one end finishing a foot away from the public sidewalk and goes to the rocks beside the house.  Plus, if he takes soil from the side opposite the path, he’d have an effectively even taller hugelkultur bed with a new path of subsoil sloping down slightly, towards the level of the public sidewalk to keep excess rainwater out of the basement. Even if there isn’t a basement, it’s a good idea to keep water away from the house to make sure the foundations don’t turn to mud.

Relevant Threads

New gardener in Minnesota, USA (zone 4b) - Nate's forum thread

Hugelkultur forum

Midwestern USA regional forum

Support the Empire

Help support the empire and get all of the podcasts in a bundle here in the digital market at permies.

To support production of these podcasts, make a donation here at Paul's Patreon page.

This podcast was made possible thanks to:

Dr. Hugh Gill Kultur
Eivind W. Bjørkavåg
Suleiman, Karrie, and Sasquatch
Kyle Neath
Bill Crim
Kerry JustTooLazy
Jocelyn Campbell
Chris Sugg
Bill Erickson
G Cooper
Dominic Crolius
Penny McLoughlin
Mehron Kugler
Julia Winter, world's slowest mosaic artist
Pasquale DeAngelis
Greg Martin
Sean Benedict
Rita Bliden
Dana Martin
Candace Dahlk
Keith Kuhnsman
Eric Tolbert
Matthew Stone
Nuno Marta
Polly Jayne Smyth
Opalyn Brenger
ellen fisher
Eliot Mason
Katie Young
Ivar Vasara
Nathan Hale
He's my best friend. Not yours. Mine. You can have this tiny ad:
177 hours of video: the Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic