Andrew Bartelt

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since Dec 31, 2012
Central Wisconsin
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Recent posts by Andrew Bartelt

Zach. Thanks for the idea of adding amendments. If I have enough I will. Thank you.

R. Scott. Thanks for awesome reply. Appreciate the link and will read up on keyline swales, knew of them but always thought they were more a row cropping technique. (which this is I guess but with really wide paths )

Craig. Glad to here it has been successfully done, sounds like great advice. I will try this below the new goat pen we will put in this spring, to catch the nitrogen goodness. I will only need a few under 50 feet for this. Depending on how well it works I will till, if not I will ask around for two bottom plow, but will definitely plow for larger area in future food forest area.

Thanks again folks, you rock.
6 years ago
Thanks for all the input folks. Much appreciated.
6 years ago
Thanks for input R Scott.
Wiki definition of swale" The swale concept has also been popularized as a rainwater harvesting and soil conservation strategy by Bill Mollison, Geoff Lawton and other advocates of permaculture. In this context it usually refers to a water harvesting ditch on contour."
While a swale will probably not be worth investing in for me in this instance, I believe it could definately be used in Pasture to great affect in a more arid place, or one more prone to erosion, such as in valleys between hills or on scrub land.
6 years ago
Thanks R Scott. Is a one or two bottom moldboard plow something that would attach to a tractor? Because Not many draft horses left in these parts. But plenty of oldtimers with tractors.
6 years ago
Thanks for quick reply Adam. Freeze/Thaw is not something I considered. I foresee the filling in of the swale trench after a few years, but imagine the swale hill if mulched and planted into will remain. If after five years, all I have is an on contour few inch tall hill planted with herbs and shrubs, it will still be serving the purpose of keeping the water on my property, along with the fertility. I will document what I do, and will post on my blog as well as here.
Anyone else with thoughts?
6 years ago
Thanks for the quick response Jay. That is what I am inclined to think too. I guess I am just listening to too many podcasts (Paul's and Jack's) in which they have a need to swale and I am trying to transfer there solution to a problem I don't have. If any one disagrees let me know, otherwise I will let Jay's answer be my guide.
6 years ago
Wondering if anyone has used a roto-tiller to make small swales. Here are my thoughts on why I think it would suit me and my property. I have sandy loam soil that sucks up water fast. Considering that my roadside ditches don't even hold water, I believe a large swale would be overkill, and that small ones would be all I would ever need considering the absorption rate here. So my thoughts are to mark contour, rent or borrow a walk behind tiller, till my contour lines and then shovel tilled soil onto downhill side and then shape, mulch, plant etc... I know an objection to tilling is that it compacts soil, but if it does that here, no biggie, because water will just absorb into side of swale hill, where I want water.
Thanks in advance, and if it works I will be sure to post results here.
6 years ago
OK folks here is my situation. I live in central WI, we get 34 inches of rain a year and my hay field/future pasture, stays green throughout the growing season. I will be putting in fencing for paddock shift grazing and wonder if benefits of putting swales on contour will be worth it? I have sandy loam soil that sucks up rain pretty fast. For example, after huge rain falls or spring melt off, my road side ditches do not hold water, the land just drinks it up. So it it worth the time and effort to rent a dozer?
Thanks in advance for the advice.
6 years ago
I know this is an older thread, but here's hoping my two bits helps someone. When looking for any type of livestock, check craigslist. As a general rule, whatever you see alot of is appropriate to your area. Here in Wisconsin, Katadhin Hair Sheep are popular because they are hardy, and wool-less. When you see what is most popular, then do some research on that breed to make sure it suits your needs. Good Luck.
Hey Peter, check out this thread, it will answer at least the water questions thouroughly. Good luck, and don't be surprised if you like the ducks more. They are just funny. Good Luck.
Ducks and snow
6 years ago