April 2016
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Another Video Walk-Thru of the Swale Project – Focus on Building Soil

Today I did another video tour of the swale project. We dug the upper swale about 18 months ago, and the lower swale 4 months ago. It is interesting to see the difference between the 2 swales.

The upper swale has dramatically more growth. You can see how much difference a year makes when you see the newly-planted bare root trees in the lower swale. The fruit trees in the upper swale are doing great. They have a lot of growth compared to the trees that are 1 year younger.

The upper swale also has a significant build-up of biomass after a full year of development. Pine shavings from the chicken coop have been added to the swale over the year, as well as chicken manure. A crop of sunflowers grew and then broke down too. Comfrey was chopped and dropped, which added to the soil in the berm.

The progress has been phenomenal in just one year. It is obvious when you compare the upper and lower swales. Now I’m adding deep layers of wood chips to the grassy areas to kill the lawn grasses and start building the soil there. Soon I’ll be planting more trees and berries between the swales.

The multi-year process of converting our property into a permaculture food forest is well on its way, and it’s exciting to see the progress. I can’t wait to see how different it looks in another year.

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