Daily Archives: March 30, 2016


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Not too long ago, two of our most internationally renowned permaculture teachers/consultants had some vigorous disagreement on social media. Hordes of commenters weighed in on either or neither side. The explicit topic of the disagreement was the value of contour ditches  – known in permaculture as ‘swales’ – for managing water in the landscape. Are they (A) a universal solution for every landscape? Or are they (B) barely worth considering, and then only in a few limited contexts?  It’s worth reading, if you’re into that kind of thing. (If you’re on FB, you should be able to find the thread here.) In brief, Geoff Lawton occupies the position A: swales pretty much everywhere. Darren Doherty takes position B: swales rarely or never, because off-contour ripping (aka Keyline) and woody perennials make swales superfluous at best. For what it’s worth, I’m delighted to see this discussion emerge in public. Let 100 flowers bloom, […]

Permaculture’s Dogma Problem