Three seasonal draws run their course through Abuela Gardens. By working on and around contours to slow and move water into catchment, sinks, and fertility pockets we begin to recharge the aquifer. If all the neighbors in a watershed actively did this seasonal draws would become closer to, if not, year round. Localized springs and wells would become more abundant, and springs lower in the watershed that did not exist before would begin to appear.
For now we focus on creating an epicenter and model for others to connect with when they are ready. This work primarily expresses itself in the form of passive swales built on and slightly off contour and prescribed burning. The passive swales are made with brush gleaned from fire clearing. This then breaks down while catching new forest materials and becomes a sponge to slowly sink water into the ground.
These practices are a dance between the elements and available resources. We approach the land with the idea of stacking as many functions as possible to maximize our efficiency.
At this point we are aiming to burn units that stack as paddocks to run the goats through, trails for access all in reltionship to the way water flows.
As part of the mop up after fire un burnt materials are used for berming, hugelkuture, and creek restoration.
We are grateful to be in reunion with the missing element of fire.
Through careful observation, and taking into consideration our Forest Gardens and Regeneration plan, which includes Perennial Intercropping, and Animal Integration, we determine where and how to lay passive swales as well as passive terracing. Willow species are selected for erosion control and coppice material.
In our immediate living areas watershed regeneration takes shape as catching all rain water off of our roofs, bio-filtering grey water, and making compost from kitchen scraps and animal bedding/manure. It also takes form in terracing all gardens and making mini earthworks to direct water to perennial plantings.
Finally in peak rainfall events all catchments overflow back into the seasonal draws in a way in which is non-erosive and free from unfiltered run off.