Conserving water with hugelkultur and planting donated fruit trees
What a beautiful winter day to build a hügelkultur!
A hügelkultur is a technique where a large hole is filled with decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials then heavily mulched over. This helps to improve soil fertility, water retention, and soil warming, thus benefiting plants grown on or near such mounds.
We thought a hügelkultur would be great for our food forest as our summers as so hot it would help provide moisture for our fruit trees. We roped some year 1s and 2s into digging a trench and laying sticks into our hügelkultur.
These sticks are all we had available, using larger logs, stumps and big branches would hold more moisture. When our mound was sufficiently mound like, we mulched it with dry leaves. It looks lovely as a border, quite mysterious. I am sure our fruit trees will be chuffed in the heat of summer when their roots find this wonderful area packed with nutrients and moisture.
After hugelkultur-ing, with the help of Kahikatea students, we set to work planting apple, pear and plum trees that were gifted to South End School by Wairarapa Fruit Trees in Schools. This project was started by ex-Carterton resident Hayden Mischiefski, you may know Hayden from his Asia and Friends Night Markets. Earth School has proudly taken over this project, and pledge to ensure students all over the Wairarapa will feel the joy of propagating, planting, nurturing, harvesting, preserving/cooking and eating freshly picked fruit at school and within the wider community.