I have been learning about permaculture slowly while living in New York. I have finally bought 2.7 acres of agricultural land in the North of Spain, non constructible, and a small plot 5 minutes away where I can build a house. The house plot is going through a long process to finalize the permit due to changing needs as the property has a complicated history and the village´s concejo´s works slowly. I have a local architect working on the project. And, I am not in a hurry as I have 4 or 5 years ahead of me before I retire. A neighbor is keeping a horse in the house plot. I am attaching a photo of the horse. I plan to travel a lot after retirement, so
I am planning to spend about 6 months a year in the property after i retire, Spring to Fall, so I will probably won´t have animals, except chickens or pigs for a few months at a time. What I would like is to set a food forest mixed with a natural forest on the 2.7 acres.
Using goolzoom, I have plotted waterlines to make swells, at about 20 meters apart, the top area is the reservoir at the highest point in the property. The property has an elongated oval shape. It has a lawn towards the North, a thick area of shrubs and bushes towards the middle, and another lawn area towards the South. The highest point is at 637m of elevation above the sea, and the lowest point is about 630 m2. There is a panoramic public walking way surounding the North and West sides of the property with a little disc to the side where all the rain water presumably runs. I am including a crude sketch of the water lines on approximate contour.
The field is used by a neighbor to pasture his sheep. The village has lots of chestnuts and mushrooms, and within 10 kilometers the traditional trees are oaks, chestnuts, beech, and hazelnuts, prunes, apple trees. I saw kiwis doing very well, I believe that ash trees and similar do well here. The winters are pretty cold, rainfall is about 1800 mm a year.
I would like all sorts of advice and ideas.
And the main question is, what should I plant on the swells? How should I plant the swells, how wide and deep should the swells be?
Swales would be no more than 2ft deep, and about 8ft wide for me.
If possible have a bulldozer come in and do it for a little bit of money or barter.
Your swales will only have water in them for a few hours so you can plant any trees in them.
But at only 8ft wide, there is no limitation saying you have to plan in them. So 2ft below the swales is also fine.
Iterations are fine, we don't have to be perfect
10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown