Constructing contour channeling

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RobynT
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Constructing contour channeling

Postby RobynT » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:19 am

Where can I find some information on the construction of the contour channeling mentioned in Peter's books?

duane
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Postby duane » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:02 pm

Robyn

You can try contacting SEQ WATER. Vaneesa Smolders had Peter do a demo of a contour.

I would suggest that you do not undertake doing one without firstly being fully informed and briefed.

You can contact me to discuss how this might be done if you have no luck with SEQW.

RobynT
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Location: Maleny Qld.

Postby RobynT » Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:10 pm

Thank you. I will try SEQ Water and see how I go.

novaris
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Postby novaris » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:37 am

From my reading of Peters books one of the most unique and important aspects of his ideas is how they effect hydrology or the land water cycle. The use of contours and the control of water flow though them is not really fully explored or explained in the two books, it would be great to develop a resource to help us understand better how they work, how to create the correct effects and how to avoid mistakes.

Would it be possible to have some people put together ideas, illustrations, animations etc and have Peter give feedback or comments on them?

Maybe more land walks could be done and videoed to illustrate the problems, and then suggest, or draw how they could be solved, Peters videos on youtube go a way to this but they are more generally selling the concept, we need more specific details for the true believers to work from :D

Leonie http://www.naturalsequencefarming.com/f ... .php?t=539 has a property and is asking for help, perhaps she might like to be part of the this process?
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duane
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Postby duane » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:52 pm

Peter and I have just returned from SA.

On our visit there we went to a vineyard to set up a series of contours.

This is what I have learnt.

NSF 'contours' are NOT the same as permaculture swales. I have just viewed the permaculture youtube video and it shows clearly that water is held up to percolate into the ground.

NSF 'contours' are NOT built like contour lines you see on a map.

NSF 'contours' can be contructed very simply and cost effectively with simple tools like a shovel.

NSF 'contours' repeat TWO important functions of the Australian landscape...they spread water and fertility across the landscape below and water flows over the top of the lower mound.

NSF 'contours' can be as little as 100mm high to function. Size is really irrelevant to begin with.

The 'contour' that Peter refers to really refers to the HIGH WATER MARK of the structure. Water when it fill this 'contour' should flow evenly along the whole length of the contour AND when it reaches this HWM flows over the contour, with manure and other OM spread out in another smaller contour below the first. This allows water and fertility to be spread out across the landscape below.

Julian
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Postby Julian » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:31 pm

For those of us who dont have the fortune to own a flood plain, in my case I am on the side of a gently sloping block, we are craving the knowledge to put in a contour.
Im my case in Central Vic, we dont get deluges, we get gentle rain, at its peak we probably only get run off occuring for one week at the end of winter. My question is would it be worth putting a contour in? As I am concerned there may never be the downpour for it to fill enough to flow over, even if I make it shallow, as i imagine the water will just soak into the ground before filling! If you think it is worth a go, my top soil is about 8inchs, then clay, should the contour be dug to this level? Or should it remain within the topsoli layer?

duane
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Postby duane » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:09 pm

Julian

I am about to leave for Tilba to do a field day with Peter. I'll reply to your query on my return monday.

Julian
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My version of a contour line.

Postby Julian » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:41 pm

As I am not fully understanding the contour line concept, I have come up with my version which isnt the same I guess, but I am hoping for a similar result. I have made a mound of manure accross a paddock, hoping that if there is an excess of rain it will carry some accross, and I am thinking that it should also slowly enter into the soil and then be slowly moved along under the surface via gravity.
If my pictures work, the first one will be September, and 2nd November.Image
Image

The grass certainly takes off right where the manure is, but I am interested to see if it will spread.

duane
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Postby duane » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:44 pm

It should work Julian....ask Shirley or Ian James for help with the photos.

Julian
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Photos

Postby Julian » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:38 pm

Sept 2009
Image
Nov 2009
Image

duane
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Postby duane » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:13 pm

Julian
As I am concerned there may never be the downpour for it to fill enough to flow over, even if I make it shallow, as i imagine the water will just soak into the ground before filling! The great thing here Julian is that on this paddock you have mimicked a natural contour which requires no digging. If you think it is worth a go, my top soil is about 8inchs, then clay, should the contour be dug to this level? NO Or should it remain within the topsoil layer?


Looks like you got the contour on your 'flat' block spot on.

This type of mulch-manure contour is exactly like the natural ones in the landscape....your photos show beautifully how simple and effective the natural contours are and how water and fertility move across the landscape.

Great stuff Julian!

And you can achieve the same outcome on steeper sloping land. The one constructed here can be created all over your flatter paddocks because you can eventually drive over them without noticing they are even there. All it takes to happen and see the results is the first rain event. This is a perfect example of a NO dig, natural contour. You can use whatever organic material you can get hold off.

Just Brilliant !!!!

Julian
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Re: Constructing contour channeling

Postby Julian » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Here are some more Pics showing my Manure conture along the high side boundary of my Property. If the pics work, it will show November 2009, and the Nov 2010. (A Bucket load of rain in between.)
Image
Image

I have laid down manure to fast track the process, this should become my "fertility factory" building upon itself and slowly improving the land below it. So far so good.

Julian
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Re: Constructing contour channeling

Postby Julian » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:08 pm

The photos above are taken from the top right hand corner of the block in the first pic back a few replys. You can just see the plastic tree guards in the distance.

Shirley Henderson
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Re: Constructing contour channeling

Postby Shirley Henderson » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:52 am

Hi julian it looks like your contour work is going well. I am at the moment starting a landscaping job for a horse riding facility. It has been specified by the council that swales must be built and lined with jute mattiung. Absolutely no soil is allowed to be piled as is recommended by PA. It seems a great idea to me to do it PA's way and put in plants. It is to be seeded with grass. All the horse manure must be piled in a spot that has been concreted (with sides and cover) to stop any nutrients leaching into the soil. This is the legal way this job is required to be done and if the landowner does not do it that way she can be shut down, fined or lose her DA approval. This is not right and with everything I have learned about NSF I cannot do anything the right way because council inspections are imminent at every step of the job. The owner just wants it done as specified so she can resume her business with out worrying about the council. :evil:

jenni
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Re: Constructing contour channeling

Postby jenni » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:25 pm

oh dear shirley, does the mind not boggle at this stupidity?? things like that drive me mad


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