I just posted a video on harvesting rainwater with swales (and cisterns, too):
The swales running through the cocoa orchard slow down water, catch organic matter and fight erosion. They are quite important on slopes.
People used to ask me all the time back in Florida, “have you done anything with SWALES in your food forest?”
No. Because Florida is almost totally flat, so it makes no sense. Plus the ground is sand, so drainage wasn’t a real problem.
Here, though, we have clay soil and steep slopes. When I start my new food forest, I’m definitely adding a lot of earthworks.
I went down to the creek yesterday during a break in the rain. It was swollen and yellow-red with mud. Fortunately, the gap in the weather was long enough that I could capture the view with my paints:
Today’s painting. “Yellow Creek.” Heavy rains have filled the creek with mud. I hiked down through the rainforest today to capture the effect. Told myself I had to do a good painting today or else eat a whole tube of cadmium yellow. This is called #motivation. I am going to keep painting until I’m great. Painting is 12 x 20 on scrap wood. #oilpainting #pleinair #landscapepainting #art #dailtpainting
It’s been raining like you wouldn’t believe. Yesterday the work area under the house turned into a pond. It’s sunny right now as I type but more clouds are on the horizon.
Christmas Gift Ideas
I created a couple of lists some time back with my favorite gardening books and tools on them and keep updating both.
I like to give useful and beautiful gifts at Christmas. Things like books, tools, seeds, pocketknives and creativity-inducing art supplies.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out my list of the best gardening books here. And my list of the best gardening tools here.
As always, if you buy through one of my Amazon links here, I make a little commission and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
You can do your Christmas shopping at the Amazon home page through this link if you really want to send some love to The Survival Gardener – just bookmark it.
The chicken making a nest up high, says to me, you’re in for more rain than you think! Animals sense, what we don’t. Cattle heading up hill, when they would normally be feeding lower down, indicates the same thing.
Those swales look dandy, and I love how they’re capturing all that organic matter in them.
Lovely depth to your picture as well. It only showed, once I submitted my first comment. It has done this to me before. White space, then picture, once I comment. All your practice is paying off.