Hugelkulture is a type of sustainable, more or less organic gardening that is starting to find a lot of converts. I'd read up a bunch on it, and this year, finally had some inspiration to try it out.
What happened was one of my older stump planters rotted and disintegrated. So, I had my rotted wood base layer.
It was a rare, shirtsleeve day up here the other day, so I grabbed the shovel, and deconstructed one of my beds. Over all the years of working with the soil, this was an easy task, right until I got down to the layer of clay. I called it right there, as the hole was pretty deep, altho not as deep as a true Hugelkulture hole should be. But I was going for 'Light' to start with anyway.
I then dumped the wheelbarrow full of soft, soggy, spongy rotted wood pieces on top of the clay, followed by the contents of the entire tomato/pepper bed, marigolds and all, from last year, with some other dead or pulled up plants I had lying close to hand. Then, it was time to reduce the mountain of dirt I had piled up on the adjoining bed and cover up my 'lasagne' style Hugelkulture Light bed.
For this year, I will probably make this bed the brassica bed. In the fall, I'll add more soil and debris. I don't plan to make it a true, 5'-6' tall Hugelkulture bed anytime soon, but raised beds have worked very well for me in the past, so I'll be keeping with that theme.
Rosie in the 'shallow grave', Sybil by the mountain
Rotted wood layer
Garden debris on top of wood
The mountain moved back to its original home