Ok, with kiddos help, I got this bed moved to its spot. . The ground is a little uneven, so I'll have to do a bit of digging

The ground here is compressed dirt and gravel, like a driveway. I'm gonna line the bottom with cardboard (with a sprinkle of corn meal to attract earthworms) and then layer on some seasoned wood.

Yes that is some lil guy artwork on the cardboard

Doing battle with some very large spiders who nested in this wood. I'm trying not to kill them because well, this is their turf, not mine

In fact I'm gonna take a break now that I've disturbed them so I can rest and they can relocate

Bottom of the future bed is lined with seasoned bigleaf maple logs. This is gonna be a hugel-style bed in that it will use this wood to store carbon for future plant growth. The other advantage of doing this is the wood soaks up water during rainy periods and saves it up for the plants to access during dry spells. Next will come layers of finer-grained compostable materials like twigs, wood chips, leaves, grass clippings and plant trimmings.


More information about hugelkultur, which uses available carbon rich plant matter as the basis for a raised bed.

Building a hugel is one way to practice carbon sequestration on a small scale. The carbon they this tree ate up from the atmosphere will be captured in the soil and used to grow more plants that will then consume more carbon from the atmosphere.

Imagine doing this on a massive scale, burying carbon rich matter in our agricultural fields to regenerate the soil's carbon supply and prevent the release of more C02

basically if we don't do something to replenish the carbon content of our arable land, sooner or later the soil will die and become merely dirt — like you'd find on the moon or Mars. We could kill two birds with one stone here, taking carbon from the atmosphere where there's too much of it, and putting it in the soil where there's not enough. Anyway that's my amateur ecology lesson for the day.

As for me, I'll probably be working in the yard and garden all week to clean things up. I wouldn't be motivated to do it if I weren't using this waste to build good new soil. If I were just sending it to a landfill, I'd probably just leave it alone.

@checkervest yeah I think so. Honestly we need as many trees as we can get right now, but this is a good way to deal with wood waste.

@dartigen biochar is its own thing, but it's the same idea. You're burying a rich source of carbon for plants to draw upon. And biochar, like these logs, increases moisture retention. I plan to include some biochar or charcoal in this bed.

Biochar is a bit different, best added with plant matter to your compost heap, where it'll soak up nutrients & act as a home to microorganisms

A lot of soil carbon is living microorganisms. Bacteria & fungi get food (carbon) from dead plant matter, also from the sugars that plants make from the sun, some of which they exude from their roots

Bacteria & fungi both make sticky (carbon) stuff that sticks soil together, giving it good structure, letting in air, roots & water

@interneteh we use rotten wood for this, or shredded branches. this will work too, but it'll take many years to decompose

@interneteh I learned about this from an Aussie vlogger, it's good stuff

the paul wheaton image source beings me to mwntion that I listen to his podcast, good stuff, though I wish they had slightly better sounding audio recording eauipment.

@brettleeper oh hey cool. I wasn't aware. That sounds like my kind of shit

It's generally advisable to keep hugelkultur beds a termite-safe distance from your wooden structure home. In my head that's a forgetfully blurry 50-150 feet, no idea anymore which estimate i was given.

@brettleeper thanks. I don't have that kind of distance. But this is as far from anyone's house as I can get it, and it's on the side where there's concrete slab.

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Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.