Category: Swales

Swales (Continuous Contour Trenches) Bring Water and Life Back to Maharashtra, India

This (unfortunately low-res) video shares the clear, practical benefits of bringing sensible low-tech Permaculture water harvesting techniques such as swales to our landscapes. In Maharashtra, India, swales are restoring the hydrological cycle, bringing dried up wells and springs back to life, and stopping erosion of the precious soils that subsistence farmers depend on.

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Experimenting with Overflowing Circles and Slow-Flow Swales (Panama)

The jungle garden I am not Bill Mollison or Geoff Lawton, they will both happily report; rather, I am but a humble novice when it comes to permaculture, experimenting my way through ideas, mimicking when I can, improvising when research falls short. And, it was somewhere in between mimicry and improvisation that I came up with what I’m calling overflowing circles and slow-flow swales. I wanted to catch water, of […]

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Earthworks Course Introduction with Geoff Lawton (video)

Trailer only – watch the full video here! If you’re considering doing Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Certificate Course later this month and want to know more, check out the Bonus $1200 Earthworks course we are including for free. It’s a mixture of classroom and field lectures that will bring you up to speed and teach you how to build dams, ponds, swales, water features, spillways and house sites using excavators.

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Swale Pathways (Tasmania, Australia)

by Good Life Permaculture Diagram of a traditional swale system Hobart is Australia’s second driest capital city (Adelaide’s first) so catching and storing water is often on my mind. Annually we get approximately 615mm, most of which arrives in the cooler months in and around Winter. During Summer our soils will dry out so ferociously that some soil types (including ours) will form cracks big enough to stick your hand […]

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Making Swales with a Tractor and Loader

by Dale Bunger Just a quick update to show how I have been making swales with a small Kubota and front end loader. First I start by laying out the path of the swale with my trusty A-frame level. I built this A-frame so the legs would be 5′ apart and I stick in a flag every time I move it across the ground. This allows me to easily measure […]

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Swales Filled by Melting Ice and Snow (Texas, USA)

We just harvested over 20,000 gallons of ice and snow melt into our swales. by Jack Spirko Last week we had about 4 inches of snow and ice — mostly ice. It totally coated the roads and shut down the city for about four days. Yesterday (7 days into it) we finally got a really warm day and major melt. This is the result — 20,000 plus gallons of water […]

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Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

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Making a Terrace Garden

Terraces have been used sustainably for centuries. Why not make a down-scaled version for your garden? One of the first things to consider in beginning to design a garden is where, exactly, it should be. I have to say that this step usually takes a secondary place in my mind to exciting images of plants and vegetables flourishing in glorious abundance; but unless you make a plan first, this flourishing […]

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Gangi Setty and the Green Tree Foundation Project (India)

The Green Tree Foundation is a small non-profit organization that promotes permaculture techniques to local farmers in the Antapur district in Andra Pradesh, India. The organizations are devising solutions to alleviate serious water scarcity and eroded soil. However, it was Gangi Setty, the founder behind GTF, that made my trip to visit them most memorable. Gangi, a delightfully peculiar man, is an elementary school teacher, a full-time philosopher and a […]

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Dam Building Time Lapse (New Zealand)

by Jon Foote A short video of the development of the dam at the ReScape Resilience Education Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand. Here is all the dam and swale building in one video. Time lapse shot from start to finish. See local mainstream media report on the project here.

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Water Management With Tom Kendall at PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast (Qld, Australia)

by Tom Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda Tom Kendall talks about water management at the Permaculture Research Institute Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast, and answers water management related questions. Further Reading: A Quick Pictorial Look at the PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia)

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Three-Month Site Transformation of Degraded Land (Bangalore, India)

It all began with my visit to Australia last September and visiting Crystal Waters eco-village and then streaming through many videos and articles on permaculture put out by permaculturenews.org. Those videos and the articles inspired me to visit the Panya Project and do a course in December 2012 and a PDC in May 2013. It further inspired me to visit many permaculture sites before I returned to Bangalore, India where […]

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