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Old 04-16-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default Brush and wood piles

Can we see some photos of what you've created in your backyard habitats to encourage wildlife? Brush piles, wood piles, bee houses or what have you. I just went walkabout in the field and observed that our brush pile is taking on the appearance of an animal den. I wonder what critters live there? Further on down the path there's a big pile of wood that looks like insects are definitely finding it useful, there are lots of holes in a lot of the stumps. I think they came from a big old dead walnut tree and a cedar that DH took down a few years ago.

We used to "clean up" the woods and burn brush, but no more. Here's a couple of photos of our brush and wood piles.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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There really isn't anything to see on my property but a small circular cage of chicken wire to which I add our fireplace ashes and Winter veggie and fruit scraps. Anything I trim off or rake up gets set into a trench in the far side of the garden as soon as the soil's workable. That area then gets buried with the soil I dig out from the next trench in front into which the next batch of trimmings go.

Basically it's just digging a trench, filling it in with the dried goods and then tossing the soil removed from the next trench in line on top of it and so on until the entire bed has an underlying mass of brown dried goods to get a start on the decaying process before planting the vegetables into it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hi!
On our property I've put a big pile of windfall sitcks and logs between two black locust trees. I also have a log pile in my front yard. I add woody yard clippings and stems to the top periodically.

I just recently went out and whacked a bunch of invasive bamboo to make stem bundles for bee nests that I hid among the logs and on my fence posts. Within 24 hours they had occupants (some kind of brownish mason or orchard bees)! I love seeing the bees peeking out of the stems.

I'll try to provide some photos later.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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I like your trench method hava. Sounds like you are composting in place, a great labor saver. Our compost goes into a bin and emptied once a year for the garden beds. If I had sun and the room I'd have a veggie garden again. Luckily we have a great organic farm that provides us with veggies and herbs twice a week. Still I can never get enough greens and I miss that.

What a great use for bamboo helianthus! I'd love to see some bee faces in them, very cool.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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That's really what it is...Since there aren't any greens added to it in the Spring clean up it does not build up any-much heat. If I water it real good a few times and turn it under a couple previous to planting time (About 6 weeks away) it's pretty much on its way disintegrating for veggie root use! The larger pieces of the buried debri will go on to feed the bed at a later point. It works out real well and saves on watering too!

The chicken wire cage that had stored the Winter scraps, also gets scattered into the veggie bed as I go.

Any fruit-tree branches I had laying around got buried into one or the other of my hugulculture beds. See post # 35 Hugelkultur: On Beyond Lasagna That one, being the same I now toss the dried goods into the trenches.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Oh, that was the word I was searching for, hugulkultur. I remember you talking about that method before. Sounds like a great way of getting rid of downed limbs and twigs. Alas we have no veggie garden so ours go on the brush pile.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
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This offers a lot of perches in full sun during the winter, which you can watch various birds preening themselves because of the available cover. Also see families of birds using it as a insect haven during the spring, early summer and migrants can feast on the explosive numbers of insects in late fall.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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Welcome back there Rocker boo! Long time no see.
Where about are you (in general) located? I see snow much the same as we still have here!
Another blustery-rain filled day here in Michigan but that's ok. It's allowing me time to play catch up with the indoor items yanking at my strings.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #9
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I've also seen bird visiting the brush pile rocker-I had piled twigs in the firepit and saw the birds visiting for insects so I hated to burn the pile. At least I know they have lots of other opportunities for bug searching.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:40 AM   #10
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Those pictures were taken over the winter, but nothing has changed at least structurally.

Located in MA.
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