Just bought 8.5 acres (830'x440' borders according to the county) right outside of Tucson and according to the flood map most of my land is considered "riparian" due to a dry creek bed that runs from the southwest corner into the middle of the property on the north. According to the county the dry creek bed can potentially have 5,000-10,000 cfs flowing through it and there is a minor risk of sheet flooding (0.5 cfs) throughout the rest of the property. There are two rocky raised areas on the southeast corner and the northwest corner. There is a 18' tall saguaro we named "Edna" in the northwest corner, a couple of ocotillos, some acacia (I'm thinking it's sweet acacia but I'm not sure), palo verde, mesquite, a few different types of cactus (mainly cholla) and a s**t ton of creosote!
I plan to build on the northwest raised area which is where the previous owners had a double wide which burned down to the metal frame. I want to use the frame from the double wide as a patio/deck when all is said and done. I would like to do as much as I can to keep as much water on my property as possible without damming up or interfering with the dry creek bed.
Miles Flansburg wrote:check out anything you can about Brad Lancaster.
As I was watching the vids you linked my spouse walked by, stopped and watched for 10ish minutes, and then said, "That guy is doing everything you're always going on and on about when you talk about the future of the property." So I will definitely look up more of Brad's stuff and maybe reach out to him at some point. Thanks, Miles, for the link to the video!
I'm also a huge fan of Brad Lancaster and am implementing his techniques on our place, with happy results. We have two massively flooding arroyos that meet in the middle of our land and periodically take out our driveway and part of the county road. Our ultimate goal is to save both our driveway and the road.
It's impressive what even small changes can accomplish. Little bites can tackle a big situation.
Here's the county flood map for the property. As you can see, there are two elevated areas on the northwest and southeast corners of the property. The rest of the land is considered "riparian" according to Pima county which means I can't do anything to interfere with the water flow through the property. I plan to get out and take pictures of the property so maybe I can get some suggestions as to what needs to be done to keep as much water on my property while not interfering with the creek.
Here's some more pics of the stuff I have to get cleaned up before I can even get started. Due to the heat, I am only working on cleanup a few hours in the morning and again in the evenings when it cools down. I think I'm going to take all the plywood, rotting dimensional wood, and clothing that is natural fibered to use as the base of a few hugels out towards the back of the property and plant those with ornamental perennials and trees. My reasoning for reusing the stuff instead of disposing of it goes a little something like this: this stuff has been sitting here in the sun and monsoons for a few years now leaching all sorts of chemicals and such into the environment. At this point the land is pretty much contaminated and there's not too much I can do about it other than try to sequester the rest of it away from the areas where I plan to live and eventually garden. Am I thinking correctly here or do I need to consider this some more before I commit? Any words of wisdom?
Hi, watershed Management group in Tucson could give you more info about the riparian area, the wash, and your whole watershed. They also do rainwater harvesting trainings and workshops. Good luck.
Composting speaks to my need for resourcefulness, making something out of nothing.