A keyhole garden is nothing more than a raised, round, six foot diameter garden with a keyhole notch to access a centre basket that holds all kitchen scraps. They’ve been used for years in Africa to help locals reclaim gardening space due to desertification issues. - Deb Toleman
As part of the permaculture course I am doing I had to build a structure and I chose to build a keyhole garden. In planning this structure I considered the location, function and the construction materials.
The function of my structure was obviously to "Obtain a Yield" - in this case fresh, organically grown fruit and vegetables.
In considering construction materials I at first wanted to build the structure using lovely sandstone coloured garden blocks. However the cost for one garden bed would have been way more money that I was prepared to spend. So my husband and I decided to use besser blocks. The garden design includes a compost 'basket' in the middle. The idea for the compost basket is that when the compost basket is watered both the water and compost nutrients filter throughout the soil. The warmth from the besser blocks helps to "Catch and Store Energy" as does the composting process that takes place in the middle of the garden.
I planted some seedlings into the garden and was surprised at both how fast the seedlings grew and the size to which the plants grew, compared to seedlings I have planted in other gardens. It was a great project and I have two additional keyhole garden beds on my permaculture property design that will be constructed some time down the track.