Leafhopper Farm has followed some basic design principals often used in Permaculture. Earthworks are a big part of laying foundation at the farm. By sculpting the ground using key-line design, we can use the very topography to retain water, direct flow during heavy rains, and irrigate using gravity.
Key-line means to follow the contour of the land and use it’s natural slope to our advantage, mainly with water, but also with sun catchment.
Our main earth berm for the pond is south facing, this wall of earth catches the sun’s warmth and holds it for the surrounding plants.
The swales are slowing water down during heavy rains, and sending it back into the ground for deep watering.
Sometimes we use earthworks to build our grey-water systems. This catchment basin will collect the runoff from shower and sink use in a bathhouse nearby. The basin is larger to accommodate any future expansions made with the grey-water system.
This basin was dug, then lines with gravel and rock to hold plants which will be rooted into the filtration for the grey-water.
sometimes something as simple as runoff drainage can make a huge difference. Our roads are now all slanted into ditches which send the water down to the pond through a series of channels and pipes. All that water catchment holds the moisture in the soil, creating stronger fertility.
As the earthworks begin to settle, and raw earth blanketed in new growth, shapes and contour fade back into the landscape, subtly redirecting water, soil, and even sunlight.