Thekla McDaniels wrote:Hi Daniella,
One thing that might work for your deep swale/ infiltration /catchment and U-Pick situation is if you fill the catchment basin with something like coarse wood chips. LOTS of "airspace" that can give way to water when the water comes, it decreases evaporation, and retain water them selves, and will decompose creating humus. And maybe release heat and / or grow mushrooms.
What do you think? Is there a place for that idea in your plan?
Thekla McDaniels wrote:
This questino kind of reminds me of something I did at my place. I built a runoff diversion contour to keep the water out of the greenhouse, which I made the mistake of building at the lowest corner of my property. Think of a half circle retaining wall, with a berm build up inside the curve, and the rest of the circle defined by digging the soil up and out of the hole... a place for the rare runoff situation. On the berm behind the retaining wall, I planted hops. Then I wondered how I would water them. I would have to fill up the whole round hole before the water reached the level of the hops roots. Well, I brought the irrigation furrow around the curve up at the level of the hops plants. That way, I could get the water to them "right now", and the water would be soaking in the whole time the hole was filling. Then I kept the furrow carrying the water high, running it round and round as it went to the bottom of the swale or pond. It is a spiral ditch, and it is quite hypnotic to wathc the water going round and round. I did not really plan it that way, did not really set out to make a spiral ditch, but I love it. Probably in the next season, I will need to elongate it into an oval, but I hope I still can keep that spiral flow.
Joel Cederberg wrote:i have been musing about the possible benefits and uses of circular swales on areas with virtually no slope to them. in my head i imagine a circle about 50 feet wide, the berm planted with mesquite tree. the center of the swale circle would be dug out to create a low point, here you could maybe plant a tree that does well sheltered from the wind and grows a little taller. i havent really thought of the species i would plant on this idea. anyway, the berm has a mesquite thicket and we'll say the middle is a pomegranate tree made to grow tall, and all around the pomegranate is grazing for sheep or goats or what have you.
anyway, i was just wondering how real life this idea was. i like the idea of digging large circular swales on flat terrain because it satisfies a subtle need i feel for things to be circular. i just like circular things i guess. but regaurdless, i feel as though it would trap more water into less area, has applications for growing food for animal and human consumption, increases soil fertility, a source of timber, a structual pen for animals.
has anyone seen anything like this? i was looking at a picture in a forum about airwells
anyway, that was the inspiration, i saw that and said, hey, those rocks should be a swale and that whole thing should be a lot bigger.