Mounds of Kiwis

July 26, 2013

After tossing around ideas about a variety of perma-agriculture methods for several weeks, on the actual mound_MG_392516th of July Ruth and Aaron strategically built a hugelkultur mound under the arbor to host some incoming kiwi plants from Kiwi Bob.

Hugelkultur (German – lit. Mound Culture) is a method of soil amendment that removes the need for tilling, amending and even watering for up to 20 years. For perennials like the kiwi this means a stable site in which to form deep roots and thrive.

Work party – Sunday July 28, 2-4 pm.

NIGHT OUT – Tuesday August 6, 6-8:30pm.

Public Design Event – Sunday August 18, 2-4pm. All are invited.  Let us know if you can help!

A mound is created by first piling up large log rounds from downed trees; in our case we used some camellia and rose rounds left by a renegade arborist and the old rotting rounds of unknown origin that once marked the perimeter of the Orchard. Next you take some sod, we had just pulled it up from the ‘pitcher’s mound’, and pile it, roots up, over the rounds until they are hidden from sight. Finally, the already large mound is covered with a layer of dirt in which to plant. This type of mound is a boon to growing in several ways. In the winter and spring in plays two roles; it soaks up the abundant water, like a sponge, to release to the plants over our mostly dry summers and through the composting of the logs provides a few extra degrees to help the roots grow strong over the winter. The spaces between the rounds, sealed in by the upturned sod, provide a host environment for worms, beetles and other beneficial critters that transport nutrients and moisture up to the plants year-round.
mound drawing med
Hopefully we’ll be able to add more mounds, both raised and interred, around the Orchard to reduce the need for watering in our space and help our trees thrive. Check it out the next time you visit!


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