PDC Grass Valley CA – Nov. 2009

Permaculture Design Certification Course
Sierra Nevada Foothills
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm — Grass Valley, CA

Permaculture Course at Grass Valley, California, 2009

“I appreciated working on projects, all the information, the videos, the site visits with such variation, all of it. I was never bored.”
Lorna P. – Joliet, IL – Retired (63) 

“Showed how permaculture is more than just gardening but a moral, ethical, spiritual lifestyle.”
Steve K. – Los Angeles, CA – Contractor & Tai Chi Master (40)

“I learned more than I thought possible. The site visits were amazing. I loved our overall group. Great vibe and life changing teachers. Thank you.”
Nate A. – Ann Arbor, MI – Non-Profit Administrator & Musician (33)

Pictures from 2009 PDC on the Yoga Farm

Hugelkulture Bed 

Picture Summary of a hugelkultur bed our students dug at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA during our 2010 PDC Course.

Burying wood scraps under ones garden beds is a great way to utilize excess biomass that will soak up water and add long-term fertility.

Hugelkulture Permaculture BedFirst, we removed about 15 inches of topsoil from a garden bed being careful to keep the subsoil separate from the prime topsoil.  These are our permaculture students and a few of the weekend-yoga students at about an 8-inch depth.  7 more inched of digging to go!
Then odd pieces of firewood and left over bark from the log splitting area were wheelbarrowed over and put into the 15-inch hole. The subsoil was sprinkled in as the wood was added to fill in the gaps between pieces. We also ran the garden hose from time to time to begin the soaking process and to help the soil sift down between the chunks of wood. We stopped adding wood when we got to about 2 inches of the top of the hole (wood pieces are filling about 13 inches of space).
During the process we also added two thin layers of slimy kitchen scraps that were saved up so that we could add some readily available nitrogen to the bed.  When the wood starts to soak up water and break down, it could rob the bed of nitrogen for a little while, possibly the first year, so we wanted to add extra nitrogen now. Animal manure would work well too. 

What’s Happening?
As the wood begins to break down it acts as a sponge providing extra, long-term moisture in the bed, valuable organic matter, and extra nutrients to plant roots for years to come.

 Once we were done adding the wood we returned all of the great topsoil back on-top of the bed where it came from.
 Here it is all done and ready to plant.
We dub a second hugelkultur bed next to it on the left.

To get Another Idea of What Our Trainings are Like

Click Here for a Picture Summary
of the 2008 Grass Valley Permaculture Training 



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