The trees are all in, and the acre of food savannah we planted is chock full of an amazing crop of wheat and canola volunteers from previous seasons as industrial farm land. There is a good deal of goosegrass, field pennycress, stink weed, wild amaranth, and dandelion. All in all a pretty nice cover crop for not dropping down any seed, it’s so tall you can’t find the hazelnuts without clearing the rows.

A couple weeks ago in the annual monsoon season here in Alberta I went out to clear the fence line and was in a torrential rain storm. We’ve had about 12 inches or so of rain in 6 weeks, which is about 80% of the normal annual rainfall, so it was very wet. Standing water in parts of the field, and a small creek running where a tractor and people have worn a bit of a rut. I’ll have to deal with that so it doesn’t get worse over time. The swale was catching water on one side, but not the other. I suspect it may be a couple centimetres higher to one edge, something we’ll have to fix before too long. It is just starting to grass in. All in all I’m happy so far.

The creek is still running, though it has slowed down quite a bit. The ditch is still running as well, so I’m hopeful that once we tap into it with the swale this autumn we’ll have a good extra source of water flowing into the creek, then back out to the ditch system after our property line ends.

Rain in the Ruts
Rain in the ruts from tractor and human traffic. The road/path is unfortunately offset from the ridge line which is covered in trees, so it picks up water pretty easily.
Accidental Swales
Accidental swales made from the tread tracks from the bobcat that dug the holes for the hazels.
Rain in June
Standing water everywhere, caused by what looks like decades of tractor work building a 24 inch berm on one side of the field.
Ditch in the Rain
The ditch has been flowing non-stop this year since the thaw. When it rains it swells to 12-18 inches wide, and 6-8 inches deep. Lots of water to add to the farm!
Swale in the Rain
The swale catching water on one end closer to the ditch, I see no signs of it moving but I suspect there is a slope of 1/600 or so that is keeping the one side dry. Shovel work to fix.

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