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Santa Cruz Permaculture
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Trees, Forests & Windbreaks
Aquaculture & Aquaponics
Zone 0 - Our Homes
Zone 1 - Home Food Gardens
Zone 2 - Food Forestry
Zone 3 - Farming
Zone 4 - Harvest Forests
Zone 5 - Natural Conservation Forests
Appropriate Technology & Renewable Energy
People Care: Personal and Social Permaculture
Fair Share: Financial Permaculture
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3.4 Berms and Swales
What is a Swale?
Swales are shallow depressions known as contour trenches in the ground that are designed to aid in water retention, they capture and allow for greater amounts of water to infiltrate into the soil. These tool is used in many permaculture designs because of it’s water storage capability, providing the plants and trees that line the swales an immediate water source. These can be implemented by themselves but are usually combined with berms both aiding in the redirection of water. This cheap and easy water storage method can be installed anywhere and are great in reducing storm runoff, decreasing water damage. The swale can be lined with mulch or wood chips to create a pathway, while simultaneously reducing evaporation
What is a Berm?
Berms are raised beds, man made sloping mounds of earth that separate two areas, aiding in directing water into swales by blocking and preventing water from going into a certain area. This tool that is used in slowing down the movement of water to capture runoff.
Both tools are beneficial in capturing water and controlling the flow in order to reduce water runoff damage while providing a water storage for your plants or trees.
How to construct a swale
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