Water Ponding/Management

John Schinnerer eco_living at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 27 00:44:30 EST 2001


> I understand the benefits. But how does one actually apply them to
> forested 
> hillsides, where it may be difficult to cut furrows/ponds, etc.,
> across the 
> face of the hillside due to trees, rock outcroppings, steep slope,
> etc.??

Aha, new information!  I didn't realize you were including forested
areas in your considerations until now.

In general I would avoid soil disturbance in forested areas (especially
subsoil ripping!  :-o  ...but also most anything that messes up your
natural forest soil/duff/fungi/etc.),

An exception might be if you have key points inside the forested area
that collect enough water moving fast enough to cause erosion, etc. on
an ongoing basis.  In that case carefully created keyline drains and/or
swales and/or brush-dam/gabion-type structures to slow and spread the
water could be worthwhile.

Less disruptive strategies include placing downed wood, windfalls,
woody debris and brush, etc. across the slope (on contour, or at a very
shallow slope a la keyline drains) to slow water flow, increase
infiltration, capture soil, leaves, etc. moving downhill, that sort of
thing.  If you've already got downed limbs and windfalls and whatnot
it's just a matter of realigning the ones that didn't fall the right
way... :-)

> Let me ask if I were able to somehow post farm layout on the web
> would you folks be able to ascertain key lines? 

We might be able to point out areas for you to look for key points, but
I wouldn't claim to locate a 'working' key point without being on the
site.  "The map is not the territory" is one of my favorite quotes... 

If you can round up enough interested people you could sponsor a
keyline workshop/course.  Would be cheaper than a consultant just for
you, and would spread the ideas to more folks.  Offer your land as the
hands-on practice site - you get design work done for your site by
participants and instructor.  That's how the advanced PC Keyline/water
mgmt. course in S. Oregon this past summer was done, and it was great
(yes, I was a participant... :-).  It is a lot of work to organize,

John Schinnerer, MA
- Eco-Living -
Cultural & Ecological Designing
Food - Shelter - Community
john at eco-living.net

Do You Yahoo!?
Send your FREE holiday greetings online!

More information about the permaculture mailing list