Near our house in the back is a steep weedy pugged (highly compacted) slope. Pretty much good for nothing other than a headache and poor footing. I had the idea last year to cover it with mulch to smother the weeds and perhaps level out the slope some. Well, our über free range layers (little vulturous destroyers that they are) absolutely live for throwing mulch down hill while hunting bugs where it smothers the grass instead. I would add more and they would throw it down. Again and again. Meanwhile, the weeds in their lovely new nutritious and humid environment totally thrived.
Later, while making hay by hand, it rained thereby ruining the entire rest of the batch. Now I’ve got cartloads of the stuff. It should be good for compost (provided it gets hot enough to neutralize the grass seed), but piling it just doesn’t work with those birds around!
So, needing to retain the hay, I turned to the adjacent piles of branches staged on the slope for a potential hügelkultur project. With a small sledge hammer I was able to pound in some thick sticks and weave in thinner ones for strength – technically a wattle, or wattled? I don’t know, but it took me about 45 minutes thanks to soft ground from a recent rain. Much MUCH quicker than the stonewall I hope to build in the future!
And it was free.
In goes the spoiled hay, kitchen scraps, manure, and comfrey (supposedly a compost accelerator, likely due to its high nitrogen content). It seems like a good solution that will give me a place to put all the hay, smother weeds, begin the terracing, and hopefully yield some good rich soil in the process.
You can see that Dusky is thoroughly impressed, but I think it is fun to use whatchya’ got and solve several problems at once.