At the high point of the property, water is rushing in whenever it rains. This water is cutting a deep channel through the property. The idea is that we would like to capture this water and use it to create an oasis! Of course, water coming off of a road will probably contain some heavy metals and petroleum residue. So we need to clean the water first. A pond is dug so that the heavy metals will sink to the bottom of the pond, and gross stuff that floats (like oil) will be caught by the vegetation. We then do some minor re-shaping to the road so the water will enter the pond.
Several ideas are mapped out about where to put in some swales. The land owner would eventually like a natural swimming pool, so we decide to put a finger on the pond to route the water to the natural swimming pool. And just in case we get an exceptionally heavy rain event, we extend the finger to a swale. The swale is designed to soak the excess water into the land. We demonstrate the use of laser levels to make sure our finger runs downhill and the swale is level.
Now we talk about food production. This location gets frost in the winter and can be really hot in the summer. A lot of the surrounding area looks very desert like. We decide to make a hugelkultur bed shaped into a sun scoop. And the angle of the slope is optimized to the level of the sun in winter. We also talk about how swales are excellent at creating frost pockets which works to your advantage in the summer. What type of wood and different variations for hugelkultur are covered. A terrace is constructed to hold the hugelkultur bed.