I recently inherited a house and am planning on converting the yard into a food producing no till garden. The only problem is that part of the yard is extremely hilly from where the property was bull dozed.
Currently there is a forsytia bush and a patch of Angel trumpet planted there plus a few comfrey plants that i planted last year. There are two small ditches that were cut by erosion diviving the area into little hillocks.
On one are(the side with the half buried log) i plan to plant some raspberry bushes, comfrey, garlic, and multiple onions, and the next little hillock I plant to put an asparagus/ strawberry bed.
I am curious as to what to do with the ditches I want to mulch them with cardboard and wood chips but I am worried the rain will wash the chips way. Sorry for the long post but I am looking for some constructive criticism for my permaculture plan.
I would say you need to tackle that erosion, your instinct is right, it will be taking away nutrients and soil resources from your land. Where is the water coming from that is feeding the ditches? Is it good quality clean water or is is loaded with nasties from someone else's actvities? This might influence what you want to do with it. If it's loaded with pesticides and you have plenty of water yourself, you may wish to pipe the ditches and get rid of it, but in a way this is just shifting the problem further on down the catchment. If you want to turn it into a positive thing, you need to slow that flow. Building swales on the contours will allow anything the water is carrying to settle out and the water itself to infiltrate the land.
Maybe the ditches developed from when the bulldozing and building work was going on and the water is now captured in other ways before it reaches this hilly spot. I would still look into creating swales or sediment traps in case it is a seasonal event. Maybe a series of dams to delay occasional floods and allow the water to travel sideways into irrigation channels.
Housing developers here are starting to be required to build SUDS into their plans - Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Basically these take the appearance of ponds which are dry most of the time but catch water from flood events and release it slowly. Seasonal ponds are good for a lot of wildlife as fishy predators do not get a chance to colonise.
I grow everything vertically. Luckily I have rocks and boulders to create terracing. You can grow a lot of food and flowers if you make terraces out of your ditches and hills. It stops the erosion. Be creative! You don’t have to garden in straight rows and flat lines.
No rocks? Use other manageable materials to make your terraces. Logs, hugelkultures, anything to hold back soil. Terra es are really just pockets of soil he’d back by something.