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What Are Hügels and Why Are They All Over Instagram?

April 19, 2017
Gardener with hands full of of tree bark mulch.
There’s no shortage of cannabis porn on Instagram—epic dab videos, grow room glamour shots, heavily edited close-ups of frosty buds, more glass than you can shake a Bic at. But a humbler trend began this month when outdoor cannabis growers began posting photos of what look like, well, carefully constructed piles of dirt.

 

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The photos, mostly from southern Oregon and California’s Emerald Triangle—prime cannabis-growing territory—include the hashtag #ShowMeYourHugel. Which raises the question:

WTF is a hügel?

 

 

 

Show me your hügels! Love this insta theme started by @livingsoilssymposium !! We definitely want to see your Hügelkulture projects too!! This picture is from about a month ago … but that rainbow just begged to be posted! A current shot is coming soon #showmeyourhugel 💚🌈🍄🌐 #livingsoil #trustinnature #hügelkulture #oregon #dempure #cannabis
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Hügels (HOO-guls) are earthen mounds used in agriculture. They’re common within the eco-conscious permaculture community.

 

Gettin wavy with the Hügels @livingsoilssymposium

A post shared by bloomstock (@bloomstock) on

They offer all sorts of benefits to farmers, such as building soil fertility, holding moisture, and even generating enough heat to extend the growing season.

 

 

 

The hugelkultur beds for this years vegetable garden are looking great! They are fully composted and teeming with worms. A healthy mix of chickweed, red dead nettle, wheat grass, and volunteer brassicas carpet the aisles and will be a great source of green biomass to turn in as we fork up the beds in the coming weeks. #regenerativefarming #DEMPure #purefamily #hugelkultur #showmeyourhugel #willamettevalley
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Hügels reduce water use and help build healthy, biodynamic soil.

To build a hügel, first you dig a trench. Then you fill it with biomass—stuff like small logs, branches, grass clippings, leaves, or other compostable material. Cover the hügel with a layer of rich topsoil.

 

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A hügel’s woody core acts like a sponge, retaining moisture that would otherwise be lost.

 

 

 

‘Twas a nice day for hüglin #showmeyourhugel #CBDgarden
A post shared by Moongazer Farms (@moongazerflowers) on

And as the stuff inside the hügel decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil and helps improve drainage and airflow.

 

Nothing like building Mounds in the rain 💪#showmeyourhugel #racannabis ✌

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The #ShowMeYourHugel trend started earlier this month, after the Living Soils Symposium. It’s a conference focused on soil-grown cannabis, emphasizing biodynamic growing methods and soil regeneration. (Cannabis can be good for the environment!)

 

 

 

We want to see YOUR hugels. Your work, your passion, your soils, your soil food web, your love for your land! Tag us and hashtag it #SHOWMEYOURHUGEL 💚🌱🤘@gooberman_ @la_luna_farmer @humboldtorganics #beyondorganic #livingsoilssymposium #soilfoodweb #livingsoil
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The practice of farming with hügels is known as hügelkultur.

 

Swipe swipe swipe 👆➡️ hügels all over the country! Keep up the great work, #livingsoil clan. And keep them coming, let’s create an ever-changing archive of the potential of #hugelkultur! Use the hashtag #showmeyourhugel when you share your systems 💚🌱🌞 #livingsoilssymposium #livingsoilsystems

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Cannabis loves hügels.

 

 

 

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So do dogs.

 

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Want to make a hügel of your own? Here’s how:

 

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Ben Adlin

Ben Adlin is a senior editor at Leafly who specializes in politics and the law. Follow him on Twitter: @badlin

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  • lovingc

    Interesting, if I ever live in a free state. But Texas is living in a republican paranoid trap.

  • Sniglet66

    THANK YOU Leafly! I have been making Hugels for years but never knew it. Must be my German ancestry – my family tree on that side include Germans that immigrated to Russia/Ukraine for the farming opportunities. Having quit doing garden education due to so many wanting quick easy answers, its nice to see long term projects like this taking hold.