Shaping Water and Soil at Inspiration Farm
"If you grow good soil, everything else falls into place. You grow good plants, you grow good animals, you grow good people." Permaculturist Brian Kerkvliet shows how he gently shapes soil to form ponds which overflow into connected swales (ditches on contour). They slow and retain water while distributing nutrients through the whole landscape. On the mound of soft earth dug out from one swale, he planted mostly edible cover crops, berry bushes and 25 fruit tree species in only three days. "We don't till [the soil]," he says. "The worms till. The moles till. We find the niche where each element works the best."