[permaculture] Looking for good examples of the use of berms and swales & definition of each

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Wed Jul 11 02:54:05 EDT 2007

Paul Cereghino wrote:
> These are all 'common names' and refer as much to function as to structure.
> Berm is a very broad term, a linear earthen feature above grade.  The 
> term berm is common in landscape architecture with the function of 
> creating noise abatement or implied enclosure. Berm implies earthen 
> structure...
> While berm is an outie, swales are innies,  A swale is a linear feature 
> below grade... implies low gradient, water absorbtion function, ditch 
> suggests the goal is drainage, suggests steeper walls.  drain and ditch 
> systems , roadside ditches, etc...  berm, swale and ditch both imply 
> human made, as opposed to stream, arroyo, gully, or more technically, 
> alluvial channel.

I thought that was it. I keep thinking of treating a greensward, open field connecting woods
garden or structures with a water impoundment where you might want to establish some kind of perennial or tree crop 
plantings for food, wildlife habitat, ornamentation or some kind of production. You would build a large swale across the 
grade and merge it on the upside with a berm with provision for overflow into the turn preceeding the water impoundment.

> Curious to see if there is any divergence from these concepts.  Sorry, 
> no pictures.  I am slowly designing a miniature ditch/berm/dam swale 
> system for our place... I'll put it on the wiki when I get a chance.

How about a scan of your design, to scale?

Looked at your photo gallery. Is that you tearing up someone's hard won turf inside the paddock
or is that your son? indentured serf? :-)

Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Venaura Farm
lflj at bellsouth.net.net

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