My wife and I just recently moved to 10ac in central FL, i have been trying to learn about different permaculture techniques and would like to incorporate them into our land. I've noticied the soil here seems very sandy and dry with a lot of cactus growing , but we do get a lot of rainfall here. I have been hearing a lot about swales to be dug to help hold some of the water. Is there a good spot that gives a overview and a clear understanding of how to use swales on contour? I do not have a crystal clear understanding of 'on contour' my land seems very flat overall. Any help would be appreciated, I've only planted some fruittrees and will hopefully soon be investing in a tractor. Eventually I plan on bringing some Chickens, Pigs and possibly Ducks, Goats and Rabbits to the property but there is so much to learn and work with first. Basically I guess I am looking to try to see what I can do to try to make the soil a little more fertile here because i'm pretty sure the people who lived here before us did absolutely nothing with it for at least the past 20 years. Look forward to becoming a part of the community, Thanks in advance!
Gary, I just rewatched this video on leaves in your garden https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ExuE9rgcbZ8 They talk about how leaves can hold 300 times their weight in water, use to prevent evaporation to the soil and worms love them.
Sand isn't that bad. Easy digging. Just need lots of organic matter added to it. A few swales wouldn't be a bad thing but don't forget the water table is only 4-6 feet down in most of FL so don't go too deep. Ctrl FL is definitely flat so I don't think you have to worry too much about contours. A swale down there would be referred to as a retention pond. I lived there for 20 years. Start composting like a mad man. Get some chickens for manure or find out where the horses and/or cows are. Just looking at o-town craiglist and found this. http://orlando.craigslist.org/grd/4956860696.html Someone in Groveland that always has horse manure and is willing to pay a little to have it gone. Can't beat that. If that's too far South, there's other horse areas North of Lake County. When/if I think of where exactly, I can post back here. Somewhere I went to buy some culvert pipe. Seemed like every other property had horses on it. Lots of tree trimmers offering mulch for free. Mulch+poop+sand-=awesome soil. Add that to a year round growing season and you've got some food.
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Congrats! have you done a PDC yet? I'm just wrapping up (working on my design exercise) Geoff Lawton's online PDC. I was on the fence prior because I thought I could glean info from Youtube and the net (Permies) but I'm glad I made the investment. Sure there are some issues that came up and I griped about them but overall I'm satisfied. I know a lot more now than I did three months ago.
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