Compost, Gardening adventures, Hugelkultur, Other Insects, Permaculture and Edible Forest Gardening Adventures, Pets, Rain Catching, Soil, Worms The Sunken Bed Project, Part Two January 26, 2014 / Old wire can be buried! Remember the trenches? We lined the trenches with old rusty wire, to rot, add iron to the soil, and discourage rodents. Mostly just to get rid of it. Inside the wire we lay old wood; in this case, the half-rotten sides of the old raised beds, nails and all. Fabric can be buried, too! Pet bedding no longer fit for man nor beast. Except for microbes of course. Around the wood we packed old fabric, most of which had been dog or cat bedding after long use in the house. There was also this futon! It had been a bed for years, and then it was the bed for the dogs for years. And for some mice. It took a little cutting and pulling to separate the cotton batting and the foam. Although the foam isn’t made from a natural material, it will eventually rot, but meanwhile will function like a ginourmous buried sponge for rainwater! The futon slices layed in the trench. Yipee! The stinky old futon is gone! Lots of branches, twigs, and woody materials were added, as was some year-old humanure, urea, and fallen limes. Nasty prickly lime tree branches, too. Serves them right for scratching me! After layering the trench materials with soil I used palm fronds for the top organic layer. Every step was watered in. Our 700-gallon water tank, formerly an organic fertilizer tank which Jacob managed to have donated, catches some of the roof rainwater. It has more than enough to water in this project, and then if it ever rains again the tank will be empty and ready for fresh water. The trenches filled in. Futons, scrap wood, woody bits, old stinky fabrics, manure… its all buried and ready to turn the clay into a microbial wonderland. We hauled chunks of extra clay up the hill and staged it by the upper pond, which needs to be resealed. Good leg exercise. The long hugelkultur strawberry bed was above ground, so it had to be reworked. We dug out the wood, wrestled out the wire, dug down about a food then lay the wire back down. There were gopher tunnels under the wire where they had come up and smashed their little noses against the wire. The wood that had been buried for a year was full of life! There were many very cool fungi. Tiny centipede-type decomposers eating away at the wood, all of which had been underground. More great fungus. On top of the wire went some more old textiles, then most of the old wood. Bunches of herbs that had been gathered for wreathes and not used were tucked in around the wood. Worms love thin woody stuff. Pigeon guano, thanks to our neighbor who delivers, was sprinkled over it all. Everything was well watered with rainwater, and then covered up. Next time: design, replanting asparagus, and perhaps even the final product!