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Harmony Museum's raised garden uses old wood, soil

Board members of the Harmony Museum, from left, Gwen Lutz, Rodney Gasch and Chuck Welsh plant flowers in the Hügelkultur, or raised garden beds, at the Harmonist Barn on Tuesday morning.

HARMONY — It may look like a random assortment of dirt and dead wood with flowers poking out, but the mound outside the Harmonist Barn is actually part of a tradition stretching back centuries.

Harmony Museum's latest living display of the German culture on which Harmony was founded in the early 1800s is Hügelkultur, a technique that uses old wood and soil to create, in essence, a sustainable raised bed garden.

Museum president Rodney Gasch said he hadn't heard of Hügelkultur until a friend's Christmas card discussed it. Once he learned of and researched it, however, he thought it was a great idea: a living example of the museum's goal that also brings beauty to the town and even helps get rid of an old tree stump.“He had an old stump, and he wrote that they were turning it into a flower bed using Hügelkultur, which I had never heard of,” Gasch said. “I saw that it was a centuries-old German gardening technique, and I knew the museum had a big, ugly stump near the Harmonist Barn, and thought it would be a great solution for our big, ugly stump.”<b> A portion of this story is shared with you as a digital media exclusive. To read the full story and support our local, independent newsroom, please subscribe online. </b>

Board members of the Harmony Museum, from left, Gwen Lutz, Rodney Gasch and Chuck Welsh plant flowers in the Hugelkulture at the Harmonist Barn Tuesday morning.Harold Aughton/Butler Eagle

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