First-year swale photos!

The Pistachio Swale

Digging the "pistachio swale"

The beginning of the “pistachio swale”

Adding a deep layer of mulch.

Adding a deep layer of mulch.

My helper showing off our work. The pistachio swale extends all the way to the road.

My helper showing off our work. The pistachio swale extends all the way to the road.

Pistachio swale where it connects to the road.

Pistachio swale where it connects to the road.

Adding organic matter and mulch.

Mulch and woody debris.

Mulch and woody debris.

Digging, mulching and phase-one planting on pistachio swale completed.

Digging, mulching and phase-one planting on pistachio swale completed.

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The Driveway Swale

We had a great work-party with our friends one late afternoon in May to get started on the "driveway swale".  It was very compacted digging because it literally was a driveway. Now it will harvest water and grow trees!

We had a great work-party with our friends one late afternoon in May to get started on the “driveway swale”. It was very compacted digging because it literally was a driveway, but soon it will harvest water and grow trees!

Digging the driveway swale.

Digging the driveway swale.

Shaping.

Shaping the driveway swale.

More shaping.

More shaping.

More shaping.

More shaping.

Driveway swale. Ready to start planting!

West side of driveway swale. Ready to start planting!

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Flagging out locations for phase-one tree planting.

First tree planted on the driveway swale!

First tree planted on the driveway swale!

Planting...

Young trees–Screwbean, Velvet, and Chilean Mesquites varieties along with Museum, and Mexican Palo Verde varieties.

The Jujube Swale

The "jujube swale" named after the eight year old trees that this swale is wrapped around.

The “jujube swale” named after the eight-year-old fruit-bearing trees that this swale is wrapped around.

Experimental plantings in the swale-trench bottom.

Experimental plantings in the swale-trench bottom.

The Jujube swale with eight-year-old Asian Pear in foreground.

The Jujube swale with eight-year-old Asian Pear in foreground.

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4 thoughts on “First-year swale photos!

  1. This is terrific! I have been seriously considering a move to JT to do exactly the same thing. I’m very excited to have found this blog. How is the water situation going? I wish you much luck.

    • Hi, Thanks for your comment. Joshua Tree is a beautiful, and still fairly wild place. There are many rundown houses around the valley in need of love and fixing… but there are also always developers banging on the doors trying to wipe the rich, subtle mojave desert clean and put in tract homes… basically to turn it into every other place. We have water… deep ground water that is leftover from the last ice-age. The population is already well beyond the carrying capacity in terms of water and our reserves are being drawn down. Now we are starting to get aquifer recharge water from the California Aquaduct. In terms of what nature gives us, it is some of the lowest rainfall on the planet– 2 1/2 to 5 inches per year. So I would say this is a wonderful place for permaculturists who want to help protect this amazing desert ecosystem and innovate new ways to live and thrive on a fraction of the water that the rest of the world does. Keep me posted! I’ll try to post more soon.

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