Skip to main content

Hugelkultur Guilds & Straw Bale Gardening

Hugelkultur Guilds & Straw Bale Gardening

  • WHEN:  July 13, 2024
  • TIME:  9:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • FEE:  $125.00 USD
  • INSTRUCTOR:  Suzanne Tabert
  • SETTING:  In-Person
  • LOCATION:  Sandpoint, ID

(details & directions provided after enrollment)

Hugelkultur is German for “hill culture.” One hugelkultur hill or several hills, aka “guilds,” create high-yielding low-maintenance food/herb gardens using native forests as a model. Straw bale gardens are unique and versatile in that they can be installed just about anywhere and provide a matrix for healthy lush plants.

Hugelkultur employs nontoxic and noninvasive logs and branches, fallen leaves, pine and fir needles, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, food waste, dead things the cat brings in, spent grains and coffee grounds from the local brewery and coffeehouse, seaweed, manure from chickens, rabbits, horses, etc., compost, whatever biomass is available, and topped with soil. Into this nutrient rich pile herbs, flowers, and food are planted.

Hugelkultur beds can be built on rocky or clay soils, infertile soil, on hills and awkward areas, and will grow amazingly healthy plants. Guilds are installed in mind of attracting and sustaining plant pollinators; creating habitat for birds, butterflies, bugs, mycelium, and other beneficial beings.

Straw bale gardening is super easy to do and can accommodate just about any plant. As the straw bale garden matures, it releases nutrients for herbs and food.

Both gardening techniques are simple to do and an inexpensive way to create full, fertile gardens in just about any terrain and soil fertility. Students will participate in building 1-2 hugelkultur guilds (depending on enrollment) and 1 straw bale garden. It will be super fun day of community, getting hands dirty and hearts full.

Snacks and iced herbal tea will be provided.

“Early this morning I was dreading the cold windy day of manual labor. But as I end the evening and reflect back on the day, it was pretty darn awesome. Fine weather, workout, many laughs and awesome beds made!”

~ 2019 apprentice


We will meet at Suzanne’s farmlet in Sandpoint (address and directions will be emailed after enrollment). Please feel free to drive in, drop off your gear, then park in the catholic church parking lot and walk across the street to the farmlet. The workshop is open to registered students only. Please do not bring unregistered guests, pets or children.

What to bring? How to prepare?

Much of the materials are already available on the Cedar Mountain Herb School farmlet, however we are looking for a few things. Don’t feel you need to bring everything, one or two items will be fine.

  • Bucket of grass clippings
  • Bag of dead leaves
  • Worms
  • Non-inked paper an/or cardboard – please take off all tape and metal
  • Coffee grounds
  • Rabbit or goat poop
  • Gallon or two of compost tea
  • Small willow branches with leaves
  • Plant starts ~ veggie and herbs

What is important for everyone to bring:

  • Your favorite shovel
  • Your favorite hand saw
  • Clippers
  • Work gloves
  • Notebook, pen
  • Dress to get dirty!
WORKSHOP REFUND POLICY: Refunds will gladly be given minus a 20% processing fee up to 7 days before a community workshop. We have a no refunds policy for cancelling 7 days or less before a workshop and for no-shows. No exceptions can be made. Thank you for understanding. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have before registering.