[permaculture] Keyline system

darren at permaculture.biz darren at permaculture.biz
Fri Jul 28 23:06:42 EDT 2006

G'day Lisa,

I trust that this greets you and all well. 

You don't need a Keyline Plow to do Keyline cultivation. That said it is an
elite shank by comparison with all of the other analogous implements out
there and does a beautiful job. You can use a chisel plow or even a farm
ripper to do the work. Problem with the chisel plow is the amount of surface
disturbance and you get some soil inversion with sub-soil moving up the face
of the shank and coming to the surface. With farm rippers you gouge a wider
cut and because of the point angle you get some sub-soil movement as well. 

The Keyline Plow shank (and some of its analogs) have a point angle of
around 11 degrees, which ensures that the soil profile stays where it was
before you plowed (provided the toolbar is set to level at operating depth.
The narrow profile of these shanks also reduces the amount of horse power
required and surface disturbance is also markedly lower, and even lower
still when a coulter disc is used. If you want to cut hay then you should
also use a light roller on the back of the plow to flatten the soil surface
down again.

I will be staying with Allan Yeomans next weekend on my way back to Viet
Nam, and will ask him for a list of Keyline Plow suppliers in North America
and post them to you and all. 

I would suggest if you want more information on Keyline in general then you
read either Priority One (Allan Yeomans book) and "The Geographical Basis of
Keyline" by J. MacDonald Holmes (dec. Professor of Geography @ Sydney
University). Both of these books outline the Keyline program quite clearly
and are available as a free download of the Yeomans Plow Company website
(http://www.yeomansplow.com.au). PA Yeomans out of print books are also
available for viewing through this site or http://www.soilandhealth.org/ . I
also have a few articles I have written on the subject that I will put up on
my website in due course.

As for creating an example site: I couldn't agree more - hence my world trip
trying to stimulate the development of more Keyline/Permaculture
Design-based broadacre properties and help people help others to design


Darren Doherty

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lisa Rollens
Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2006 4:00 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Keyline system

Hi Toby,

Do you know of any of these Keyline plows in the Ozark area of the US?  I 
have 154 acres and could really use one, as could most other folks around 
here, even thought they don't know it!  After 100 plus years of cutting 
trees off these hills, the water just runs down them unrestricted, taking 
all the topsoil with it and  filling in the creeks with gravel.  After 
reading (most of) the Keyline book, I am starting to understand the concept 
and would like to try it on my land.  Being an example is one way to affect 
change, or so I am hoping....!

Thanks for any info you or anyone can provide,

Lisa, in the MO Ozarks

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Toby Hemenway" <toby at patternliteracy.com>
To: "permaculture list" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 3:15 PM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Darren Doherty Tour 2007

> On 7/27/06 1:39 PM, "Claude William Genest" <genest at pivot.net> wrote:
>> Abe has put in what is one of N.America's first and only Yeomans/PC
>> style earthworks for his mid-size dairy operation. Darren is an
>> expert in this dep't.
> Just to give credit where it's due, Guy Baldwin in California and Marvin
> Hegge in Oregon, S. Dakota and Arizona, plus Tom Ward, Penny Livingston, 
> and
> several others have put in Yeomans-style keyline earthworks on a large 
> scale
> too. Marvin had a 250-acre ranch near me in southern Oregon that was
> beautifully laid out with ponds and terraces on the keyline plan. Sadly, 
> it
> was sold to a grape grower who didn't quite get it. But there are
> Yeomans-style plows in southern Oregon and California that get regular 
> work.
> Toby
> www.patternliteracy.com
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture 

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