I decided last year that I’d be shrinking the garden down to the area around my cabin and I can say that, as of right now, that was a great decision! I’ve got more kale, lettuce and spinach than I was ever able to grow in the big garden thanks to these fantastic hugelculture beds! The work involved in getting them set-up and planted was substantially less even with hauling all the wood and the productivity of these beds is off the charts. I’m probably getting twice as much in a space a quarter the size. There’s zero loss to rabbits thanks to the raised beds and the fact that they are so close to the cabin which means I can keep a better eye on them. I harvested a bunch of lettuce today and planted tomatoes, eggplant and peppers in those spots. Salad everyday? Check! Kale cooked in butter with eggs and potatoes four times a week? Check!
The food forests around the cabin are also doing really well. The plum-based guild out front is becoming a really nice example of what can be achieved with the guild model. A plum surrounded by comfrey, sage, thyme, lemon balm, yarrow, currant and gooseberry. I had a couple open spots so I put in a couple sweet potatoes and an eggplant today. The pawpaw guilds behind my cabin had some open spots so I planted sweet potatoes and will be putting a couple eggplant, peppers and tomatoes out there too.
Those guilds already had rhubarb, strawberry, purple coneflower, yarrow, oregano, and self-heal. There are also volunteer pumpkins, potatoes back there and in the swale bed of comfrey and rhubarb I put in onions, tomatoes, and eggplant. I’ve got as much food planted as last year, all within 60 feet of my garden!
Last, but not least, the native wildflowers have all bloomed and look great: columbine, bee balm, jacob’s ladder, wild geranium, purple coneflower with a few others to bloom soon.