Episode-612- Paul Wheaton on Hugelkultur and wofati Eco Buildings

Paul Wheaton of RichSoil.com

Today one of our most popular guests of all time has returned for an encore performance.  According to a poll in the TSP forum you guys most wanted Paul to return next to go more in depth about wofati eco buildings.

While the main topic of today’s show is going to be wofati building there have been a ton of hugelkultur questions as well so we will open with a few of them.

Many of the details shared about the wofati structure are highly visual and referencing Paul’s Article titled “wofati eco building” will be of great help.   Also highly recommended is Mike Oehler’s book, The 50 Dollar and Up Underground House.

The wofati building is essentially a modified and improved version of Mike Oehler’s design (approved of by Mike himself) which improves the overall thermal mass, keeps the structure 100% dry, increases the flow of light into the structure and offers several other advantages.

Join us today as we discuss…

  • Many hugelkultur beds are built up, can you build them down
  • Are some areas to wet for hugelkultur
  • What types of wood must be 100% avoided with hugelkultur
  • What is a wofati building
  • How do you assess a site for wofati construction
  • How do you avoid problems with permits and codes, etc.
  • What materials are required for wofati building
  • How to you eliminate water problems with an earth berm structure
  • Along with plenty of humor and observation from Jack and Paul

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

19 Responses to Episode-612- Paul Wheaton on Hugelkultur and wofati Eco Buildings

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Paul Wheaton on Hugelkultur and wofati Eco Buildings | The Survival Podcast -- Topsy.com

  2. The first interview with Paul was one of your best shows ever. This one seems to be so popular that your audio server times out (on all podcasts) because so many people are listening / downloading it live. Must be another great show. Pity I’ll have to wait…

  3. Modern Survival

    @Dr. Richard I have pushed it over to a back up audio server for a bit, try it now. We will give it it’s own stream till the spike dies back.

  4. too popular for the servers.. what a great problem to have! 🙂

    i built some pasture fence for my uncle about 18 years ago, here in SC. the posts were RETIRED black locust, from a vineyard, at 50 years IIRC. in any event, the posts are still standing. that stuff amazing…

  5. I tried to post the podcast out at reddit and my stalker already downvoted it into oblivion. It would fun to see it get so many upvotes that it comes back to life and there is nothing my stalker can do.


  6. What can you say other than, AWESOME! It’s so good to hear Paul, been following Permies.com for awhile. I too have watched all of the vids on youtube. As well as reading all of the articles. Working on the forums, so much information is mind boggling. Hearing that Paul will be a regular guest is great. Thanks Jack for inviting Paul on the show. Based on the response one great idea.

  7. Jack – I was able to download it fast and quick so what ever you did seemed to help. I’m looking forward to listening to it – particularly the section on hugelculture. I started two hugelculture beds last weekend when it was warm and in the 70s (before we got 23 degrees and snow Tuesday). I dug out two of our existing beds (put the dirt to the side), put a layer of old firewood down, filled the gaps with dirt, then added layers of composting leaves, composting grass, dirt, and some blood meal before adding a final layer of the dirt that was left. I will add a bunch of compost on top and stone edging / walls when I get my annual compost delivery next month.

  8. Loving the interviews with Paul, looking forward to more of them in the future.

    Something he briefly mentioned in the first interview that I’d love for him to go into on a future show… Greenhouses. He mentioned when people use his design they love and actually use one while those built by other designs eventually fall into neglect. Within the next year or two I hope to build one myself and would love to hear his thoughts/design considerations.

  9. I was a little upset hearing about cardboard and newspaper not breaking down. I cover the 10′ x 10′ area I’m going to use for a garden with cardboard to kill the grass and thought maybe it would breakdown some to help improve the soil. Guess if it didn’t, as long as it kills the grass and anything else with it, I’ll be happy.

  10. Wow, I tuned in to learn about building a wofati and I also learned that the raised bed I built that I used newspaper and cardboard to kill the grass and the cedar I custom ordered for the frame, probably wasn’t a great idea. I can’t wait to find out what else I’ll learn from Paul down the road.

  11. I’m only 1/2 the way through the program, as I listen while driving to & from work.(Night shift in an E.R.)
    What can I say? Another outstanding interview!
    I greatly enjoyed and learned from the first one, this is no different and I am certainly looking forward to future “installments”.
    Thank you Jack and Thank you Paul for taking the time to share such needed information with us all.

  12. ruggedtraditions

    Another Great show guys. Thanks, I cant wait to hear more.

    My wife and I were 2 of the 7 at Pauls lecture.
    It is so great to have such an amazing resource in our hometown.
    Anyone in the Missoula area should definitly make the trip it is well worth it. Thanks again Paul!

    I finally signed up for the MSB thanks for the discount code Jack. I put together a few seed orders, and after using the discount codes I have already paid for the membership. I am making my way through the ebooks too. What a great value. Thanks Jack

    Thanks again for the collabortion guys, I look forward to hearing more.

  13. I’m really enjoying your interviews with Paul! I am wondering if Paul has plans to build a wofati house of his own anytime soon. I’d be interested in knowing how he might adapt some of the ideas about building materials to a dryer climate without the forest setting.


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  15. Regarding the lasagna roof on the wofati…

    While listeing to this eposide I help on flashing back to Episode 560 on shipping container construcion episode. Based on that guys calculations, you had to make some major reinforcements to the roof to support the weight of even 8″ of soil. What kind of roof joyce system are you going to have to install in a wofati to support 30″ of soil?

  16. Should have proof read my last comment better. What I meant to say was:

    Regarding the lasagna roof on the wofati…

    While listeing to this eposide I kept on flashing back to Episode 560 on shipping container construcion. Based on that guys calculations, you had to make some major structural reinforcements to the roof of the shipping container to support the weight of even 8? of soil. What kind of roof joyce system are you going to have to install in a wofati to support 30? of soil?

  17. Hey Paul, you are back at the top if you Google “organic lawn care”

    • I’ve been #1 for organic lawncare forever. It’s “lawn care” that is the issue.

      A week ago I was #12 and right now I’m #10 – wow! People must be making links!

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