Making the Most of Water on Your Property: Runoff, Drainage, and Irrigation

| 2/21/2017 10:02:00 AM


I don’t know about you guys, but where I’m at, it’s been a really interesting month for weather. Here in the mountains of central Montana, the weather swung low to -20F for a while, then soared up to 48F. The foot of snow that was settled in for the winter started to melt into a thick, crusty layer, and then something alarming happened - it started to move.

Our driveway is on a slope, and as things started to thaw out, the snow and ice slid down down to the bottom where we turn around, piling into foot-high piles of slush, slow, and ice - it’s been a mess. There’s only so much good that plowing that muck will do, and when things got below freezing again (as they always do), we were left with ragged, rutted out piles of frozen slush.

This whole thing has me really thinking of the importance of earthworks this month. I’m looking at this mess, and just kind of generally throwing my hands up, because we can keep plowing it out, but with the next random thaw, it will fill right back in with that muck.

During my time with Permies, I learned so much about the importance of earthworks. More than anything though, I learned that it’s always the first and most important thing you should do on a property - before you ever consider building anything.How your property manages water and temperature changes is going to dictate everything about the success of your homestead, so you need to get it together as soon as you start planning, and decide what needs to be done to make the plot efficient.

Observe and Interact - Water Patterns

Though local climate can certainly vary from year to year, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of simply observing the patterns of water flow on your property before you begin construction. Knowing what happens when it rains and snows can change everything about your approach, so try to refrain from jumping in before you’re ready. 

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