You may find some potatoes rolling down Gleason Field soon...
Students and members of Derby’s Green Team recently returned to campus to plant potatoes in our new hugelkultur bed overlooking Gleason Field. The students constructed the garden bed as part of the Aquaponics GOALS elective last winter, but with the coronavirus pandemic putting the brakes on in-person learning, students weren’t able to plant anything last spring.
A hugelkultur, German for “mound culture,” is essentially a raised garden bed that uses old wood and other compostable material like sticks, wood chips, grass clippings, leaves, food scraps, eggshells...everything you would put into a compost heap to create a mound or hill. As the wood decays it retains moisture and supplies nutrients to the mound.
Students recently came back to maintain the hugelkultur during the summer months, and since potatoes require very little maintenance, they make a great crop for keeping socially distant.
While hugelkulturs have been used in Eastern Europe for centuries, it’s now one of the ways the Derby campus supports its sustainability efforts.