swales

rick valley bamboogrove at cmug.com
Tue Jun 5 14:54:09 EDT 2001


Akiva sez:
>.until the predictable dynamics eventually result in pressure
>release/slumping/landslide or other divine intervention with avoidable
>damages. Probably best to keep safe with good, long-term design to start,=
> and
>"push-the limits" somewhere with a gentler risk/return ratio.
The full "dicho" I was referencing is of course, "the Lord looks out for 
fools and drunkards" Being as I have thus undoubtedly used up my quota of 
divine protection already this life, I make sure to state repeatedly in 
classes that: 1 in 2 slopes are STEEP, and, I don't like anything steeper 
than 1 in 3, and: show folks how to make a quick gauge with a right 
triangle of laths and a carpenter's level for checking work that's in 
progress.
The risk/return ratio is actually quite good; and, it is hard to do worse 
than 95% of road construction; most non-permaculture projects I see have 
given no thought to a comprehensive plan for water movement, and 
generally set up potential problems and wastage, despite all the current 
rise in consciousness around water issues and all the new building code 
rules that apply.
Most permaculture neophytes begin earthworks on a fairly small scale; if 
they keep in mind that *you**must**always* *give* *water* a *way* *out*, 
(and two ways is better) and live on the site, so they see what's 
happening, things don't get disastrous. There is room for creativity; 
I've seen too many crazy things that work in one place or another!
-Rick




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