We’re in the Smokey Mountain region of this great nation and we were promised some brutal storms.
Well, we ended up just getting a ton of rain. Which on one hand is great, because of the drought conditions this past summer/fall. On the other hand, we had quite a bit of water damage to our driveway and garden area.
I know what you’re thinking- “But Eden, I thought you dug a swale!?”
To you I say, yes… Yes we did. And it worked! The swale successfully retained the rainwater from our property… From OUR property. It did not, however, do anything about the run off we received from the neighbor’s yard into ours…
We got rain water coming across the fence line and pouring into our Back to Eden plot… It effectively washed away everything in a 2×6′ area. I was deeply disheartened.
So what now? What do we do, and where do we go from here?
Well fortunately, this happened before anything was planted, so we haven’t lost any crop, just ground cover and top soil. But I would say that our first priority is to finish the terrace, and take it all the way to the fence, or at least to within a foot of the fence.
Then, once the terracing is complete and the grade of the hill not so steep, we can focus on a trench with a length of perforated pipe, a sort of French drain, to divert the water away from our planting site.
The challenge then becomes, where do we send the water? I have a few ideas. My first idea is to dig a small fish pond and use it for some aquaponic gardening. My plan B is to dig another swale. And my plan C is to plant a rain garden of native vegetation that can help to absorb some of the ground water.
So first step is to terrace the hillside. It only takes time. This means our attentions will be momentarily split between chicken coop building and terrace building. We’ll have to prioritize, and really focus in to get everything completed so I expect it’ll be a little while before I post again, just out of a desire to work more on getting the water issues figured out. So until then, keep on keeping on, and hopefully our efforts here can inspire a passion for permaculture in your own experience and serve as guidance as you encounter your own trial and error situations.