by Jared Neibaur
Self-sufficiency can be accomplished on many different levels. Success isn't a matter of size as much as it is a matter of realized vision and continuous sustainable growth. I want to share my vision for my homestead so that you can have one more story to go off of as you create your own vision. Maybe my story about my modern homestead will help you define your own success in becoming self-sufficient.
Hugelkultur. What is it? … Well, hugelkultur is a method of raised bed gardening that employs wood and other compostable materials to create an ideal growing environment. Wood is piled on the ground or in a trench and is then covered in dirt or other compostable materials and then a layer of dirt creating a raised bed to plant in. The idea is that the wood will store water and produce heat and nutrients as it decomposes. If it is done right it will reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation and fertilizer. That sounds pretty cool to me.
I first stumbled on hugelkultur a few years ago while I was digging through some old forgotten books on gardening methods. I thought the idea was amazing but I was in transition from place to place and hugel beds have a lifespan of 20 some odd years, and it takes a solid year before the real benefits start. Those facts made it hard for a transient guy to get started so I filed it away until now.
In this post I will talk mostly about what I did to build my own hugelkultur and over time I plan to study how well it works and let you all know the results. Make sure you let your excitement show in the comments below! Also, if you are looking to build one of these yourself, take a look at this awesome website.