Of all our earthwork projects at the farm, the Crater Garden is the largest and most impressive to date. At just over 1 acre in size, we combined the design concept of the Crater Garden with that of Hugelkultur. The basic premise of the CG is to go below existing grade with your earthworks. By creating a ‘hole’ in the surrounding grade, you enhance the ability to collect surface water run-off to minimize irrigation, you capture the sun’s rays to build microclimates through thermal mass elements (rock, ponds, etc), and you create elevation changes within the space to create frost traps thereby protecting plantings from frost damage. All these elements of design allow for a more hands-off approach to growing plants / trees, while increasing the likelihood of harvesting elevated hardiness zone varieties. Our CG is approx 200’ x 200’ in an oval shape. Consisting of four distinct terraces, it drops ~24+ feet from top to bottom, and has over 4000’ linear feet of plantable terrace and slopes. As we enter 2015, we are monitoring the area to best develop the design forward for further food production and human social interaction.