Ask Geoff Lawton a Question - Round 2

Discussion in 'Put Your Questions to the Experts!' started by CraigMackintosh, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. DanD

    DanD Junior Member

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    I am making my second attempt to put in a swale on the side of a hill on my property.
    I want to know:
    1) Is its ok if the swale is not perfectly level?
    2) Is it ok if the swales are not as wide as your swales? Should I knock out more trees to get the doze in to push towards the swale? (hate to make more bare soil; its winter)
    3) Here in Texas US, zone 7b or 8 I want to replace my existing "forest" with a food forest so my plan is to plant this swale then cut the existing trees over time to mulch the fruit trees until there are only food and support trees. Is this a good plan? What would you suggest for replacing a east texas young forest.



    Im working on a very limited budget so the best I could do is borrow a small dozer with a 7 foot wide blade. Here is what I have so far..230 feet of swale with a holding capacity of about 12,000 us gallons.

    [​IMG]

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    Enough water flows on the drive in heavy rains to cause erosion. I am redirecting that water towards the swale..
    [​IMG]


    My last topo using a cheap laser level. I have since dug down the high points down.. But still have to raise 65' of swale another 1/2 foot to achieve a holding capacity of 12 inches.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. NGcomm

    NGcomm Junior Member

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    Hi Geoff. I am putting in a small dam with inflow and overflow swales on a small property of just over 3 hectares. The soil is red/brown loam clay of around 300mm topsoil and then shale starting between 300mm to 1000mm. My question is - can I save the loam/clay from the top section (plus other earth works from around the property where slabs etc have/will been constructed), rip out to around 2-2 1/2 metres of soil/shale and use the loam/clay to cover the dam wall and faces with around 300mm of this saved soil? Will this provide enough stability to the dam? I will be doing your excavation course in January so if this is better left till then no issue. Thanks in advance.
     
  3. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    Hi Geoff and Craig,
    could you please discuss the current state of the Diploma of Permaculture in Australia? I'm really keen, but there are no Sydney providers for the APT and 2 semesters in Nimbin are just not viable, and neither is the price tag. I gather from the Tagari website that Bill is not currently awarding Diplomas. Any ideas if or when this is likely to change? I really like the UK model and I think I'd get a lot out of it, especially with the focus on mapping a learning pathway across David Holmgren's 12 principles and areas that require change for transition. Unfortunately, from what I've read so far, Permaculture UK would prefer to take only UK based students. And I'd much prefer to stay local, too! Any ideas on where to from here?
    Thanks
    Danielle
     
  4. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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    Answers to Round 2 here!

    Here are the answers to Round 2!

    [video=youtube;URDHw_WoIKo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URDHw_WoIKo[/video]​

    Please note that this video ends abruptly due to a power outage at Geoff’s end. He was in the middle of answering a particular question at the time, and we still had a couple of questions to go. We’ll attempt to answer those unanswered questions in a subsequent video. Thanks for your patience.

    Update: Now that Geoff is back to a reliable connection, we've answered the last three questions of Round 2 in the video below:

    [video=youtube;_OxIimUuQ84]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OxIimUuQ84[/video]​
     
  5. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    While the audio (at least on my stream) was pretty noisy, Geoff's sheer informational content within each of his answers is amazing. Even on questions I didn't think I was interested in, he (and Craig) bring up so much context and overarching concepts that I strained to hear every word and frequently rewound the video to catch key points.

    Craig's conversational style and in-depth commentary help to round out and frame Geoff's responses.

    This "Ask the Experts" thing is turning out very well! Thanks to all for your inquisitive questions to date. Looking forward to hearing Geoff complete the thoughts he was making as his power went out in Jordan as well as round 3.
     
  6. Donkey32

    Donkey32 Junior Member

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    Why video??

    These are GREAT!!
    But, why are they in a video format?
    The INFORMATION is coming through Geoff's voice, not really the look on his face. (which is lovely, I'm sure)
    These video files are pretty large and are a bit of a knock to the download limit imposed on me by my service provider.
    Could you strip off the audio portion and provide it as streaming (or down-loadable) mp3?
    Thanks.

    Oh.. And, thanks for these in ANY format. :)
     
  7. CraigMackintosh

    CraigMackintosh *****

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  8. Jackalan

    Jackalan Junior Member

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    About Geoffs answer to this question at 15:20

    Within Geoff's answer he says 'I would be looking for the lowest point on the high boundary of the home garden area, and I would define that and run a contour line from there that would be the longest highest contour line on the home garden area. '

    I am sorry, could someone clarify what he means by this, specifically what is the high boundary?

    Thank you so much for any one who answers this!
     
  9. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Jackalan,
    By "high boundary" Geoff is referring to the boundary lines of the garden area. If the garden area is a rectangle, one of the four corners will be the highest in elevation. One of the two lines connected to that corner will end at a corner higher than the other. That line is the high boundary line Geoff is referring to, and that second corner (higher than the third corner) is the starting point for a contour line that will be the longest and highest contour line within the garden boundary. This is the method to establish the longest contour line (and associated swale) as high in the garden as possible.
    The only instance this won't work is if the garden area is defined by a circle!
    ; )
     
  10. grantvdm

    grantvdm Junior Member

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    Sorry 9anda1f just a slite correction here. That second corner is not necessarily the lowest point on the highest boundary. The part of getting the highest boundary is correct, but then you need to look for the lowest point on that line, this will then be the point that if you follow the contour on that point that you are most likely (not always) to get the longest contour on your property.
    ;)
     

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