We had some Honeyberry bushes to plant, but our property is just rock and red dirt. Very few plants can survive in the mountain that we seemingly live on. So, we had to dig out all the rocks and dirt (which took weeks) and then finally fill in the hole with something that could sustain a nutrient-rich environment.

Enter the idea of a Hügelkultur, which is a German word that means “mound culture” or “hill culture.” My sister taught me how to Hügelkultur, which starts with a giant hole in the ground and a lot of sticks. Then, you add layers of green and brown matter, one after the other, in layers.

A Hügelkultur always starts with sticks in the bottom. They will take the longest to break down as they are bigger pieces of branches, which is why they go in the bottom of the hole. Then, we added layers of straw, compost, manure, leaves, and amendment, and finished with several layers of soil.

After we finished with the layers, we put the weedblock back over the hole (we had peeled it back to do this process). Then, the Honeyberry bushes were planted! You can see one variety is already planted in the photo below and two more are about to go in.

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