Earth works - water management - Cost of earth works

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Peter Warne, May 2, 2003.

  1. Peter Warne

    Peter Warne Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi permapeople
    I am a permie in waiting. I am retiring with my wife in July, coming back from Hong Kong to live on our 14 acres in Nimbin, NSW. I should wait till I get there to ask this, but I'm just itching to get my mind round the possibilities and feasibilities. Our block was carved out of a cattle farm about 10 years ago. It's long and sloping, and at present, apart from the house, about half way up the slope from the road, is covered with grass with a sprinkling of some sort of wattle/acacias which are reaching the end of their life span. I've read Bill M's Permaculture Design Manual, cover to cover, and I want to (1) put at least one more dam up at the top of our block (to gravity feed the garden and fruit trees) and (2) carve swales right across the contour lines from top to bottom. A bit like one of the first permaculture design on pages 209/210 of Bill M's Intro to Permaculture (except that our property faces west).

    My questions, (as far as can be answered in a very general way):
    - What sort of cost can I expect this sort of operation to come to?
    - Will it be more economical to buy some sort of grading blade to attach to the small tractor I am thinking of buying (assuming that we plan well enough to 'get it right first time'), or would it be preferrable to just pay a contractor to come in and do it?

    Anyone got any ideas about this?

    Peter
     
  2. Geoff Lawton

    Geoff Lawton Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Peter
    the average farm dam that I consult on and direct the construction of say 1 mega litre in size costs on average $3000. The average farm swale say 2m wide in the trench and 2m wide on the mound takes a meter a minute to construct at about $90 an hour with the right machine for the job. You need to get as large a machine as possible within reason because if you get the smallest machine that can do the job it will cost you 100 times more in money. These are just ball park figures but you can guesstimate it from here. A back blade on a tractor will cut a shallow swale on country that is close to flat, but is no good it country with any degree of slope. This not to say that a back blade on a tracter is a very useful tool on a farm.
    Cheers Geoff :)
     

Share This Page

-->