swales

July 8, 2016

going bush

My husband has been researching permaculture gardens for the property. He is being very thoughtful. He can see the problem with erosion and weeds, and managing different aspects of the land. For him, this project is all about stewardship.

Me? I just want to go there and watch everything. I don’t want to do much work. I want to watch the sun come up, and go down. I want to watch the kids play, get dirty, and get tired.  I want to watch a stew cooking in the pot.

The latest thing he has been researching has been ‘swales’.

What is a swale? You dig a level ditch along a contour, creating a berm on the other side. The ditch creates a water catchment and the water soaks into the berm. You plant on the berm. You can also plant in the ditch.

swale

Image source: https://midwestpermaculture.com/2012/07/hugelkultured-swale-with-linear-food-forest/

You also plant different levels – tall, medium, low, and ground cover, and do mixed planting. In permaculture, there are seven levels of planting which is called a ‘guild’.

Forest-Garden

Image source: http://www.permablogger.net/permaculture-guilds/

 

There are a lot of folks posting stuff about swales on the internet. Many of the swales look quite unsightly. I don’t mind messy, but I like organised chaos. These are the best looking swales I have seen so far…

city_kids_swale14

Image source: http://permaculturenews.org/2011/01/19/city-kids-move-to-the-country-part-iv/

 

So, how is the swale constructed? With a tractor. Yeah!

swale_with_kubota_01Image source: http://permaculturenews.org/2014/02/26/making-swales-tractor-loader/

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments on “swales”

  1. michaelwatsonvt Says:

    I love the effect of creating Swales! Even more, I love that you want to WATCH and BE!

    Reply

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