The Depths of His Love

Aug 4, 2022 | LIRA news, Uncategorized | 0 comments

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My spade can reach, when digging in your sight

For the ends of working at an ideal pace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Shovelful, from sun up to candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

My best fallen trees, and with a permaculturist’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

When not Hugelkulturing at all. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, sweat, tears, of all my life; but, sometimes I might choose,

I shall but love thee better after I am finally done.

-Sonnet of a Gardener’s Husband

Some 5 or 6 years ago I was reading through Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture   by Toby Hemenway.  I was reading the chapter about bringing the soil to life, how the key to having a garden that is bursting with healthy plants, well balanced insects, and thriving wildlife is to stuff the soil with as much life as possible and to maximize biodiversity.

He included a wonderful image that spoke well how healthy soil life and a greater assortment of soil organisms will build more resilient and nutrient dense plants, and in turn, greater health for the men, women, children, and animals that depend upon the soil fertility.

I began to work my way through the information on the soil food web, the billions of bacteria, millions of fungi, thousands of amoebae, earthworms millipedes, beetles…..the presence and work of all of the soil animals create a moist, nutrient rich environment as they feast on rotting matter.

Enter the project for only those who truly love.

Want to know how much your husband loves you….ask him to help you put in a Hugelkultur.


We dug out our spots: four 6ft by 8ft holes.  We added our chunks of wood and logs. Then we replaced what we dug up on top. We added a couple inches of black topsoil compost mix.


Best planting experience for 4 years straight in that spot. The plants thrived there and produced juicy, delicious, healthy food.  The time and energy that we invested at the beginning, digging, digging, and preparing our planting area actually saved us hours of work!

We never had to replant because of sick plants; we fertilized only with a light addition of composted cow manure and fish fertilizer; we had almost no weeding in those areas, and we did not experience a loss of food production from sick or damaged plants.

It was such a wonderful experience that…….

We’re doing it again!

Bigger is better, right?

Want to give it a try??  

Try a small above ground Hugelkultur!  No digging involved!

Gather any small sticks or limbs you may have around your yard.  Stack them in a pile, stamp them down and put leaves, grass, or other yard debris you may have available to fill in any gaps between branches.  Cover with some compost and a couple inches of soil.  Plant seeds or starts into the mound.

For more information, click the link!


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