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Questions about swales in the north Cascades

 
Posts: 19
Location: Foothills of Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, WA
2
forest garden food preservation bee
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I would like to start this thread here in Earthworks because I just watched the To Swale Or Not To Swale video and my question(s) seem related. If there are better forums for this, please point me that way.

We live on 20 acres in the foothills (approximate elevation 700 ft) of the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington. About five of these acres were carved out of temperate deciduous forest for the house, yard, and pasture by previous owners years ago. The land is fairly level from north to south and slopes gently from west to east. As best I can tell, we are either zone 8a or 8b and our annual average rainfall is 47 inches (rain forest is 55+ inches of rainfall) which falls mostly October through May.

Because of that rainfall, the land is saturated with water for many months of the year. Water moves slowly down slope into the forest acres and eventually into a creek.

We are working to transform the pasture into food forest. I have read a lot about swales and hugelkultur all of which seems very exciting. However, given the amount of rain we get I am worried that these techniques are not the best idea for our land. I can easily imagine some of our storms washing out swales.

We are at the point of taking our first steps towards regenerating the pasture and we do not have a good plan for how to manage this much water.

I look forward to any discussion, ideas, or resources that you might have to help us.
 
Scott McBride
Posts: 19
Location: Foothills of Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County, WA
2
forest garden food preservation bee
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I am attempting to add a picture of the property here:
CuMoonProperty.jpg
[Thumbnail for CuMoonProperty.jpg]
 
She still doesn't approve of my superhero lifestyle. Or this shameless plug:
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars
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