Yesterday, trusting a forecast for rain
last night,
we spread 135 pounds
of grass seed – Old World Bluestem, fescues, clovers –
(and some wildflower seed)
on the swales, berms and pocket ponds
that were built over the weekend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpreading grass seed

Then Ann ran a disc lightly
over the seed
and during the night
an inch of rain fell;
another half inch has fallen during the day.
(And some freezing rain.
With the temperature hovering
just above freezing
and a strong north wind,
trees are coated in ice,
which is not normal for April.
Some of the fruit trees are
in bloom.)
With two two-inch rains
the last two weeks,
and the rain today,
the swales and pocket ponds
are filling.
Instead of the rain water
and running down the hill
and down the gulleys
beside the hills,
as it would have before now,
the pocket ponds built in the gulleys
have captured the rain
and sent it along the swales
where it can soak slowly
into the grassland.
In the fall,
we’ll plant trees and bushes
along the berms next to the swales
and the rain water will soak
the roots.

Rain collecting in pocket ponds,
where until now water flowed down a gulley

IMG_7320Water running from pocket ponds into swales

This is what’s happening
on another farm,
a mile down the road,
in today’s rain.

All the rain water
is running down gulleys,
running off the farm,
into ditches along the road
and through a culvert
to another farm
and down its gulleys.
The wisdom of the Permaculture Keylining System
is dramatically clear
to us now.
And we look forward
to watching the swales, berms and pocket ponds
turn green
when the sun appears.