We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately- giving us a chance to see our new swales in action. Our previous post gave the skinny on our goals with the swales, if you are curious. The seeds we spread are germinating, but don’t have substantial roots at all yet, so the swales are still vulnerable to breaching. So far what we have learned is that the swales do indeed all fill up with enough consistent rain. The flow has been spread and slowed quite a bit. Unfortunately the water is also showing us where the true low points of each swale are, and they are not always where we intended for water to flow. The main issue has been too much flow at the far end of the swales which culminates to the low point of the field where we happen to have our laying hens and piglets at the moment. We moved the pig house to higher ground, so they can stay snuggly and dry. We had hoped that the installation of the swales would eliminate that problem, but we still have some work to do. When the rain finally stops we’ll evaluate where we need to beef up the berms and remove silt to make the system work better. Perhaps we need more swales in the series to handle the amount of rain that collects in the valley during multiple rainy days.