[permaculture] gabions

Kevin email ktopek at houston.rr.com
Wed Jul 31 10:28:27 EDT 2002

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, I have had success filling erosion ravines
that drain to a bayou with branches, leaves and pine needles. During heavy
rains the runoff water no longer rushes through the ravines and more organic
matter is collected by the existing material. This helps to increase water
infiltration in the future by mulching the soil and making the ravine
channel less steep and deep. What you are describing is similar to trenches
placed on cultivated land, esp. corn fields, where farmers would fill the
trench with ground corn stalks and trench compost for the season. The
following year the trench would be dug along another row and the process
repeated. Over a period of years most of the field would have been treated
with a composted mulch that increased water infiltration and soil fertility.
This system was popular after the Dust Bowl, early 1900's, in the central
United States. If there is plenty of brush left over from land clearing in
the area all you need is a way to effectively fill the trenches. Grinding
the material is not necessary and it will last longer as a mulch if it is
not ground up. This will take a lot of labor and/or machine work. Best of

Kevin Topek

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-admin at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-admin at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Bob Ewing &
Jocelyn Paquette
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 8:05 AM
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [permaculture] gabions

greetings, the ruts that we are working with are about 3 feet deep and 2
wide. I'd sure like to talk with someone with expereince before starting or
least find some literature on the subject. The ruts don't hold water for
long as
they are and then only when it rains but they do enable the water to flow
off the property.

FranksFarm at aol.com wrote:

> Good day all:)
>     Interesting subject!
> Here in south central Kentucky, USA there are plenty of hills and hollows
> where drainage channels have been cut over many years.
> Some are over 10' wide and 8' deep. Most of the time they hold little
> but when we have heavy rainfall they drain a lot of water off those hills
> quickly. Much of the water is dumped on pasture/forest at the foot of the
> hills making some of the areas wetlands/boggy or puddled.
> I know that brush, gabions can slow water but I'm not sure if drainages
> in the right places a la the Yeoman system. I'm also not sure that in
> tampering with the existing channels might not cause the formation of
> channels; deepen and widen existing channels or what.
> Sure like to have some expert advice on this. Look forward to your
> All the best.  Frank
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