Joshua Dolan and his partner Grace came by my house today to work on contour mapping and also some construction. I'll cover the contour mapping more when there is a complete map, but the work we did to the small yard area immediately behind my house is worth some close examination too.
The new pathways and beds replace a small area of yard directly behind my house, and follow one of the contour lines plotted earlier. Soil from the pathway was shifted to the downhill sides to create a barrier to water coming down the hill that will force it into the soil. Then we filled the paths with mulch from the earlier tree-cutting, and that will also break down into soil eventually. On the upper area, there's now a mound of soil which will become an herb garden.
It should develop into an interesting complex system, where each part handles multiple tasks. The raised areas block water and are growing areas, while the paths offer depressions for water to collect and be absorbed by the raised areas while the mulch breaks down and turns into new soil.
If it doesn't quite work out, it should be fairly easy to fix - none of this is more permanent than piles of dirt and mulch. It should be a good way to experiment!Posted by simon at April 24, 2006 9:32 PM in my house , permaculture