Permaculture is all about structures, plants and animals serving multiple functions. The goal is to integrate each aspect of the farm to create synergy. As fall draws to a close, the newest addition to the permaculture environment is a stone lined culvert.
This was dug and filled with stones tilled from the soil by the pigs. When it rains, or when snow melts, water drains down this culvert into the mulch basin in the front yard. A mulch basin is a pit or trench that is filled with organic materials like leaves, sticks and wood chips. Runoff is collected in it and absorbed into both the soil and the organic material. This both holds the water allowing it to absorb into the ground but also limits evaporation so the moisture is retained long after the runoff stops. By constructing the mulch basin around the blueberry patch, the water will be available to the plants during dry periods. The most exciting part about the drainage system is that the water will carry nutrients from the cow’s winter pasture to the blueberry patch where it can feed both the blueberries and the microorganisms that create healthy soil.