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How To Make Swales To Grow Food And Green The Land

 
Tony Teolis
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making hugel swales Thank you Paul! When I first heard of hugelkultur with Jack Spirko in early 2011 on the Survival Podcast I thought "hugel what?" but I'm glad I listened and now only some of the blackberries and raspberries are not grown hugel style only because they were started in 2010. Now if it's not hugel I won't do it. Today’s episode is a long time in making. More than a year ago I began to experiment with building swales and making hugel (woody) beds and now I am ready to show you How To Make Swales To Grow Food And Green The Land. This is hard work but the rewards are seen in the landscape and the dinner table. The video begins in September 2012 and shows the initial success of some hugel beds and simple swales I built to make better gardens and green land.

I begin by showing the swales built near the shed to hold off erosion of the land and they have come out marvelously! I include pictures in the video to show the contrast between the beginning and end stages of some of the construction. The video then proceeds to show how the elderberry, blueberry and asparagus have been coming along. All were built on top of buried logs and compost and all the life under them seems to be the doing the right things to keep these plants growing strong. I must note that having a couple of children who like to dig holes was very helpful. Making swales and hugel beds is hard work and there is no substitute for having help to get it done. There are twelve blueberry, 6 elderberry, asparagus and kiwi beds all built hugel style as well as some other gardens.

The video leads up to the main topic of the day which was to build swales on the east slope to help prevent erosion and me falling down after a good rain. This back area took a lot of planning because I wanted to be sure I could build something nice before tearing up the yard to the disgust of my wife and neighbors. Part of the theme I experience with ToDoListHome.com is that I don’t always get things right the first time and these swales were no exception. The video concludes with some explanation of my plans and pictures I took today to show how good of a job we did. There will be follow videos to this one to show how these major swales were built and then rebuilt to make them look like they do now. If at first I don’t succeed I try, try again and the upcoming episodes will show you what I mean. Stay tuned. Tony Teolis
 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Looking great Tony. Love seeing the before and after pictures.
 
Tony Teolis
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Thanks Miles. Anything I can do to encourage others is worth the effort. Tony T.
 
Fiona Martin
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Location: UK, Newcastle Upon Tyne
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Thanks for posting the video, it was nice to see hugelkultur on a smaller scale, we don't all have tractors or the space to build 2m high beds!
 
Tony Teolis
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Nice of you to reply Fiona. It helps to have kids or friends who like to use a shovel.
 
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