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Swales/Ponds Advice

 
Michael James
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
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I'd like you to consider me a complete beginner in this arena. I do learn best from pictures and audio/visual examples. Is there any material that you would recommend in the pursuit of gaining a strong understanding of these systems? Everything from their basic design concepts to intricate inner workings? Written material is also an option but definitely secondary as far as my comprehension skills go. Thanks for your invaluable time.

in Christ,
Michael~
 
Geoff Lawton
permaculture expert
Posts: 48
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Hi Michael
try this http://www.google.com/cse?cx=005882427699693072259:-ubk9xtrqgq&ie=UTF-8&q=Water+harvesting+DVD&sa=Search&siteurl=www.permaculture.org.au/&ref=&ss=7155j2870493j22#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Water harvesting DVD&gsc.page=1


Cheers geoff lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies
 
Michael James
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
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Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Michael
try this http://www.google.com/cse?cx=005882427699693072259:-ubk9xtrqgq&ie=UTF-8&q=Water+harvesting+DVD&sa=Search&siteurl=www.permaculture.org.au/&ref=&ss=7155j2870493j22#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Water harvesting DVD&gsc.page=1


Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies


Awesome!
 
Michael James
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
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Michael James wrote:
Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Michael
try this http://www.google.com/cse?cx=005882427699693072259:-ubk9xtrqgq&ie=UTF-8&q=Water+harvesting+DVD&sa=Search&siteurl=www.permaculture.org.au/&ref=&ss=7155j2870493j22#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Water harvesting DVD&gsc.page=1


Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies


Awesome!


All I need now is a mountain side farm, a professional designer, and piles of money and I will have my own little piece of paradise. Realistically though, I'm hoping that these same principals can be applied to your average flattish farmland (maybe not to the same degree). I got the pdf book version of "Water for Every Farm" and I'm hoping that between all the visuals and research I can figure out a way to have something serviceable that can be done myself. Thanks again for the links.

in Christ,
Michael~
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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one small piece of advice on ponds is..if you have a low spot on the property, like a dip, that collects rainwater and holds it for a very long time, that might be the perfect place for a pond. It works better to put a pond in a naturally low, wet spot rather than to attempt to dam running water or to put a pond where it wouldn't naturally go.

here, we had a low spot that was soggy even in drought times, so after we had a housefire and moved the house location, we had the contractors dig fill out of that area, and low and behold we had a shallow pond, later we dug it deeper and now we have a lovely groundwater/spring pond (see our blog)
 
Geoff Lawton
permaculture expert
Posts: 48
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Michael James wrote:
Michael James wrote:
Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Michael
try this http://www.google.com/cse?cx=005882427699693072259:-ubk9xtrqgq&ie=UTF-8&q=Water+harvesting+DVD&sa=Search&siteurl=www.permaculture.org.au/&ref=&ss=7155j2870493j22#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Water harvesting DVD&gsc.page=1


Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies


Awesome!


All I need now is a mountain side farm, a professional designer, and piles of money and I will have my own little piece of paradise. Realistically though, I'm hoping that these same principals can be applied to your average flattish farmland (maybe not to the same degree). I got the pdf book version of "Water for Every Farm" and I'm hoping that between all the visuals and research I can figure out a way to have something serviceable that can be done myself. Thanks again for the links.

in Christ,
Michael~


Hi Michael
no mountain side farm needed, faltish land is much easier and cheaper to develop, so you will need less money just a small little pile, an average farm landscape flat country swale 4 foot wide in the swale base trench (so quite big compared to a garden swale) takes a minute to construct 6 feet in length at an average of $2 a minute machinery cost using an excavator, or road grader even cheaper . You could start small and slowly with just hand tools and hand dig your swales, I find 20 foot a day digging a smaller swale of about 3 foot across. Small ponds of the size of a home swimming pool to an Olympic swimming pool size often only cost $1500 to $3000 dollars and can easily last more than 600 to 1000 years especially in flatish lands where very little height is needed on dam walls and swale banks to both hold volumes of water in ponds and stop spread and soak water through swale banks re-hydrating landscape down hill. Swales are tree growing system and increase in functional efficiency as they develop into contour tree lines. Flatish land also often has surplus soil when dams are excavated and this can be creatively shaped into earth banks (at no extra cost or very little) that can function as sun traps, wind breaks as flatish land is often also stressed by wind, earth mounds can also assist in increasing tank stand heights to increase irrigation capability. Windmill water pumps or small solar pumps can be used for pumping to header tanks.
Something many people do not realize is that rammed earth houses can be built with surplus soil especially from flatish landscape dams using earth moving equipment to compact earth walls like 3 earth dam walls above ground as a sun trap, this is an extremely cheap and efficient way to built a very energy efficient house. I have done this for a consultancy client and I could probably write a whole post on this.
A good permaculture designer will be useful or you could just take a PDC with a good PDC teacher who has a reputation of creating very active students.
I hope this helps you start this journey of permanence and enjoy your journey.
Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies

 
Michael James
Posts: 50
Location: Zone 5B: Grand Rapids, MI
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Geoff Lawton wrote:
Michael James wrote:
Michael James wrote:
Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Michael
try this http://www.google.com/cse?cx=005882427699693072259:-ubk9xtrqgq&ie=UTF-8&q=Water+harvesting+DVD&sa=Search&siteurl=www.permaculture.org.au/&ref=&ss=7155j2870493j22#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Water harvesting DVD&gsc.page=1


Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies


Awesome!


All I need now is a mountain side farm, a professional designer, and piles of money and I will have my own little piece of paradise. Realistically though, I'm hoping that these same principals can be applied to your average flattish farmland (maybe not to the same degree). I got the pdf book version of "Water for Every Farm" and I'm hoping that between all the visuals and research I can figure out a way to have something serviceable that can be done myself. Thanks again for the links.

in Christ,
Michael~


Hi Michael
no mountain side farm needed, faltish land is much easier and cheaper to develop, so you will need less money just a small little pile, an average farm landscape flat country swale 4 foot wide in the swale base trench (so quite big compared to a garden swale) takes a minute to construct 6 feet in length at an average of $2 a minute machinery cost using an excavator, or road grader even cheaper . You could start small and slowly with just hand tools and hand dig your swales, I find 20 foot a day digging a smaller swale of about 3 foot across. Small ponds of the size of a home swimming pool to an Olympic swimming pool size often only cost $1500 to $3000 dollars and can easily last more than 600 to 1000 years especially in flatish lands where very little height is needed on dam walls and swale banks to both hold volumes of water in ponds and stop spread and soak water through swale banks re-hydrating landscape down hill. Swales are tree growing system and increase in functional efficiency as they develop into contour tree lines. Flatish land also often has surplus soil when dams are excavated and this can be creatively shaped into earth banks (at no extra cost or very little) that can function as sun traps, wind breaks as flatish land is often also stressed by wind, earth mounds can also assist in increasing tank stand heights to increase irrigation capability. Windmill water pumps or small solar pumps can be used for pumping to header tanks.
Something many people do not realize is that rammed earth houses can be built with surplus soil especially from flatish landscape dams using earth moving equipment to compact earth walls like 3 earth dam walls above ground as a sun trap, this is an extremely cheap and efficient way to built a very energy efficient house. I have done this for a consultancy client and I could probably write a whole post on this.
A good permaculture designer will be useful or you could just take a PDC with a good PDC teacher who has a reputation of creating very active students.
I hope this helps you start this journey of permanence and enjoy your journey.
Cheers Geoff Lawton

Check out www.permaculture.org.au/permies



I really appreciate the thorough response and encouragement Geoff. I very well may partake in a PDC in the future. I'll be watching to see if you put one on in the U.S.. I'm really excited to move forward with some of these ideas. Thanks allot for your time mate!
 
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