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Saw swales beneath chestnut orchards on steep hills north of Beijing, 2001/2

 
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The steep land was covered in swales laid on contour. I saw a man with a hoe re-building them up. These hills were close to a section of the Great Wall, and the curvy road went over hills and through valleys. I wonder if they were to catch sudden rains, or gather the chestnuts when they fell. Sorry I didn't take a picture.
 
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Indigenous intelligence goes back into generations and generations of wisdom. Not to say that PDC principles don't apply, but in a situation like that in China, there have been so many millions of hours of observation that they probably have the amount of water that swale can hold down to a teaspoon.

I wish I had the time to just go to places like that and ask a lot of questions.
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