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IPFS News Link • Agriculture

How to Build Swales. What is a swale?

• The Weedy Garden

How to build a swale is one of the most important things I have learnt while developing my food forest and studying PERMACULTURE:

A swale is a method of harvesting water, and they work whereever you live in the world. This is the first video of a three part series on swales. With thanks to Geoff Lawton, this first video is the "INFO" part, and is pulled from Geoff's Online Permaculture Design Course. The second and third video in this series will be published on the 30th April and the 7th of May respectively.


Swales are long, level excavations used to loosen soil and absorb water. They can be many forms and widths, including small ridges in the garden, rock piles on slopes, or hollows in flat lands. The main function is to interrupt the sheet flow of water, let it infiltrate the soil, and ultimately recharge the groundwater.