A quick post on a impromptu water harvesting earthworks installation – in this case it was a mini swale above a chicken run. The swale will be catching rainwater and hydrating the soil to support the other permaculture project on this site – a no-feed chicken forage garden.

As opposed to digging a basin and using the dirt to create the berm soil was used from elsewhere on the property to create the berm and the basin was crated between the berm and the slope of the hillside. This can be a quick way to create a swale with less effort (if there is extra soil around).

marking swale on contour

Marking the swale on contour.

swale berm and basin

Moving the soil in place to create the berm and basin of the swale.

rainwater harvesting earthworks

A portion of the swale is directly on contour with the chicken run.

finished water harvesting swale

Finished mini-swale mulched is almost unnoticeable. It will help catch rainwater and hydrate the soil – helping to increase the biomass and help mitigate drought issues.

About Bret Glassett

I am homesteader and permaculture practitioner farming on 30 acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with my wife and son. My experience comes from an education in permaculture and what I have ground truthed on the land.