In Texas it is dry. I do not want to use irregation, because I do not necessarily want to grow things in rows. I would like to use techniques to reduce and hopefully eliminate the need for irrigation, but I need to have productive gardens quickly for food, and profit. How would you deal with this situation in order to balance maximum production with minimal irrigation, while transitioning to a food forest? And then once a forest garden is established, what are the water needs, and what are some techniques you use water wise?
Swales and berms are a good idea while you are transitioning, though I don't think you would have the quick profit you are looking for. We are in the high desert of California and have swales/berm combos and right now the squash and beans are easily doing the best. I'm sure for your climate you could tomatoes fairly easy. Maybe try to find something that is lacking agriculturally in your area that would do well with minimal water and try to market that. Or you could grow something and turn it into something else for a larger profit (tomatoes, peppers, corn, onion, cilantro and make a unique salsa or something...) Establishing a food forest is going to take you a while. Is your main motive profit right now?