That is what I've been dealing with. How to catch blowing snow.
I've got swales and berms, excellent way to catch blowing snow.
The mini Kraters have proven mostly effective at catching blowing snow. I'll say that from limited observation I'd say the small diameter Kraters do a better job at keeping blown snow.
Now we have acres of sweet clover we did not mow. This effectively caught all the snow that fell without wind.
The great thing about most of these is that once the snow melts the water is also harvested into the earthworks. The only outlier there is the sweet clover trap. I'm not sure where all that melted snow will go, we haven't done earthworks on that acreage yet.
I put up another snow fence this fall and I hope I will be able to get in to the land early enough to see how it worked.
Dave Dahlsrud wrote:My hugelkultur beds really work great at catching snow on the leeward side of the prevailing winds (hugel-snow fence?). We routinely get gusts in the 50-6- MPH range with mostly 15-30 MPH sustained winds. I plan on building even taller hugel berms in the near future. My existing beds are in the four to five foot tall range and the new one will be something closer to seven or eight feet tall. The sheltered area these berms create deposits a lot of snow into the system. I utilize lots of curvey, twisty, shapes to create lots of edge and microclimates when I build them. I think combining the taller hugel-berms with the mini-craters might be a big time winner in this area. I don't think hugelkultur combined with the swale berm is the best idea though (especially a tall hugel or on steep-ish ground). I don't know if you can build something like this though, it seems as though you were facing some regulatory issues when you were first considering the craters.
I do want to do a large hugel as a tester but I worry because of how dry we are that an above ground hugel will fail here. I'll give it a try anyway.
As for the regulatory I think it's more to do with the fact that I work for lawyers. It has me anal about doing it right. Plus we will be a U-pick and thus open to the public. So I received government permission for a particular size of mini Krater. They never told me I couldn't do more than one, though I don't think the lady I talked to ever considered I'd be pocking my property with these things. I have written approval either way so HA!
I'm glad that you are trying to harvest snow. I live in a snowy place, and would love to maximize the soil moistening potential of the snow. Please keep us posted as your project continues.
To stop snow drifting onto the highway, the municipal road grader will plow up banks parallel to the road.
My dad made a couple of sections of snow fence on steel frames that he can install and remove easily with a tractor.
elle sagenev wrote:So I've been documenting this in my projects thread "Permaculture food projects in Wyoming" but I find it to be a pretty interesting subject and wonder what other people are doing. There is a lot of talk of gabions and such for catching water in desert areas but what if your main water source is snow? What if you also rarely see snow fall straight down, as the winds reach upwards of 60+ mph regularly. SNIP
I am big on old technology. I can't remember what you cal it but if pile up a huge pile of rocks in the desert they will cool at night and during the day they will produce water with the heat of the day. A waterproof "bowl" under the pile lets you collect the water. There are several of these in Europe that produce water for entire towns still operating after hundreds of years.
I live in Alaska and harvest snow water in the winter. I have a lot of trees around so I have to filter it and I use a few drops of Clorox too just to be safe, but I doubt there is much to hurt you here. The air is pretty clear. next summer I will be harvesting rainwater.
UPDATE: That pile of rocks is called an air well
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