Marking Land Contour Lines

Ive decided I missed my calling in working with permaculture and land design elements, so I’m sprinting to catch up to it. We have to dig a swale on the property to control water flow across the land and to divert it away from our garden area. 

First I had to determine the contour lines of the property. To do that, I built an A frame level. A really rudimentary A frame level. I tied a rock to a piece of twine and tied that to the top of the frame. The point at which the twine hung is where I marked a line. 

And then I calibrated it

The center line is “level”

Then I measured out the contour, and marked the “level” points with orange spray paint (less than eco friendly, I know, but more effective for my husband who will be doing the digging)

Starting point

And then I went 2 meters out from the end of that line and worked my way back across the contour  to create the width for the swale.

This whole process was very enlightening because the resulting contour line is not what my eyes initially perceived prior to marking it. But hopefully doing it this way and digging along the natural contour will result in a more effective swale and water catchment system.

I’ll post more once we start the digging process.

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