One of my homesteading goals this year is to expand my garden.

The challenge to that goal is the expense. Since I am using tall, raised beds and vertical gardening to adapt to my inability to crawl on the ground anymore, there is extra expense involved. First, getting a good-sized container, costs between $50 and $150 dollars. Then you have to fill those big containers with lots and lots of bags of soil. Now, a bag of soil is not really that expensive, but when you purchase lots and lots of bags, That’s Expensive.

So, I was excited to see a video that showed how, with a cardboard box and some chicken wire, you can make oodles of garden containers. In this age of on-line ordering, I certainly have a regular supply of boxes. I also have quite a stockpile of recycled chicken wire (see, Oscar, it was worth keeping). Practically free containers! Problem #1 solved.

Later in the video, Dan, the You Tube vlogger at Plant Abundance, showed how you can add sticks, etc. in the bottom of the box. This moves hügelkultur to the container garden – a mini-hügelkultur if you will. By using wood, leaves, and other compostable materials in the bottom of the container to fill the space, you don’t have to use as much soil. There are lots of downed branches in the woods around my house to use for this. Problem #2 solved.

I first learned about hügelkultur about ten years ago but, at the time, did not see how to apply it to my situation. Back then I was struggling to garden in a new zone, with a new gardening calendar, different climate issues, different (read that “massively increased”) pest issues, etc. So, I read about hügelkultur, thought “that’s cool”, and went back to my current concerns.

I never thought of it beyond the massive, raised beds it was (originally) intended to create. I love people who can think outside of the (cardboard) box.

It’s exhilarating to learn new ways to apply old concepts from other people. If you want to watch the video I found, click HERE. If you want to learn a little bit about hügelkultur, click HERE and HERE.

Hügelkultur has been practiced for centuries in Eastern Europe and Germany
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