We’re big fans of swales, and our consulting team often recommends them to people who are starting their homestead or resilient land transition.
- A swale is a sunken or marshy spot in the ground that is designed and constructed to catch, direct, and sometimes store water in the ground. Often they are used to manage water runoff or rainwater, or even to filter and cleanse captured water. Swales may be man-made or natural in origin.
But not all swales are created equal. Knowing if or when swale construction is right for your property takes a lot of thoughtfulness. Plus, a lot of people have never even heard of swales! So here’s a swale starter pack of swales info, discussion and case studies to help the uninitiated dive into this fascinating permaculture design tool. Enjoy.
- How to build swales: an overview of how swales work
- Using swales to prevent waterlogging: growing food in waterlogged soil can be nearly impossible. So in certain wet climates, swales are a very useful soil water management tool.
- Using swales to direct water in an urban environment: they’re not just for farms and homesteads!
- Swales as a neutral tool: sometimes they’re appropriate for a property, sometimes not. It all depends on the context of that land.