I Cut This Using My Dear Takeuchi 150 Track Toy Last Week And Had So Much Fun Working At That Instead Of Sitting At A Desk In Front Of A Screen.

Wow, just in time, the Salvage back flow canal finished before the damn blew out!

Salvage, Texas has a generous supply of water for the moment, and with all the changes I have made in the last few years, it is holding immense amounts of the precious stuff it takes to grow the permaculture jungles I hope to see spring up around our town that I envision.
The trick is how to capture the generous amounts that come in one season and forget about us for another.

One summer between rains I dug a hole.  It got deeper and deeper until it was amazing.  Soon after came the rains.

One summer between rains I dug a hole. It got deeper and deeper until it was amazing. Soon after came the rains.

This is not the canal, but looks like one.

While we are only located a quarter mile from the San Marcos River, once it leaves our property, we can not get this water that goes there back without paying for it from the city of Luling, and then it is treated with chemicals we do not want to ingest or use to grow with. I speak of chlorine and fluoride and the byproducts of the treatment as well as other issues that require us to filter it before use as it is now.

In order for any village or town to create a permaculture environment, it will be essential to have resources for water that do not require payment or the cost of vegetables and food grown will be crazy, and the yield hurt by the chemicals used to treat it. With that in mind, I am at least carving out the paths that will hold water after the edges collapse a bit and the root systems that were in place on the surface will have room to expand.

Here are a few of the pictures of what has filled our canals in just a couple days of Texas winter rains.

Here are a few of the pictures of what has filled our canals in just a couple days of Texas winter rains.

I cut this using my dear Takeuchi 150 track toy last week and had so much fun working at that instead of sitting at a desk in front of a screen.

I cut this using my dear Takeuchi 150 track toy last week and had so much fun working at that instead of sitting at a desk in front of a screen.

This is over 4' deep in some places where it turns the curve at the end and dumps into a deeper ponding area before dribbling over the ground until I grow the loop a bit longer.  We have berries and grapes growing wild all over the place so that we can organize and cultivate now that we have some methods to trap and hold the rains that bring an inch or two in a couple hours then perhaps none for months.

This is over 4′ deep in some places where it turns the curve at the end and dumps into a deeper ponding area before dribbling over the ground until I grow the loop a bit longer. We have berries and grapes growing wild all over the place so that we can organize and cultivate now that we have some methods to trap and hold the rains that bring an inch or two in a couple hours then perhaps none for months.

One we go back and form, cultivate, and develop the plants that will love these environs, including pecan trees in that are on the other side of the creek already.

One we go back and form, cultivate, and develop the plants that will love these environs, including pecan trees in that are on the other side of the creek already.

This is about 4 - 6 feet deep but mostly in a sand that will let it leach out and be picked up by the natural food plants already in place.

This is about 4 – 6 feet deep but mostly in a sand that will let it leach out and be picked up by the natural food plants already in place.

In some places it may be hard to imagine this much water showing up in a night, actually in a few hours, but it happens in Texas often. Unfortunately, it could be months before another follows, of any sort once the seasons change so this could be worth more than money one day.
Would you believe there is validity to the possibility that Texas will try to outlaw rainwater collection, building ponds, and extracting water from wells on private land, perhaps as early as the next legislature? Yes… sad but true unless people stand up to it when it happens.
In the mean time, what you do gets grandfathered in later, so dig doggies dig, and build your self some ways to keep the gifts that may one day only be bought.

With this we can plan on supporting many things we hope to grow without having to use well water or worse, chlorine tainted city water supplies.

I stuck both Taki and my Dresser crawler in this spot, each pulling the other out luckily.

I stuck both Taki and my Dresser crawler in this spot, each pulling the other out luckily.

When I unplugged the little gap to release water from the larger pond that had nearly overflowed, this is how much water filled the backup pond, which would have been a couple feet deep at this point.

When I unplugged the little gap to release water from the larger pond that had nearly overflowed, this is how much water filled the backup pond, which would have been a couple feet deep at this point.

You can see about a foot of water in the turn at the corner f the canal.

You can see about a foot of water in the turn at the corner f the canal.

Here is the long shot of it empty.  The front portion closest to the water had incredibly rich soil which is piled up on the left.

Here is the long shot of it empty. The front portion closest to the water had incredibly rich soil which is piled up on the left.

In the larger area it is mostly sand thus it will not hold the water for long on top, but we are not done yet.

In the larger area it is mostly sand thus it will not hold the water for long on top, but we are not done yet.

Here you can see before the rains that came two days later.  This was overnight before and after shots so I am glad I did not leave tools in the trench or have Taki in that hole overnight on that night.

Here you can see before the rains that came two days later. This was overnight before and after shots so I am glad I did not leave tools in the trench or have Taki in that hole overnight on that night.

This is a tiny vent hole for the water that is about 4 or five inches higher than the canals I dug out.

This is a tiny vent hole for the water that is about 4 or five inches higher than the canals I dug out.

This is all it had to work through to start.

This is all it had to work through to start.

This is a beautiful straight cut of earth that was filled with black rich soil that will grow many seasons of vegetables one day.

This is a beautiful straight cut of earth that was filled with black rich soil that will grow many seasons of vegetables one day.

Our last attempt to contain the waters led to great learning experiences and I hope to have a new plan growing this time that will allow us to capture the maximum amount and let the rest flow on to the San Marcos River. This is simply rainwater that did not accumulate on my property when a bought it years ago. Now we have tons of frogs, birds, wildlife, and a chance to bring it back into a rich state that can adapt to the coming climate changes.

So far we have been holding fairly consistent to 99% Salvage to create the houses and town.  I believe we can aim for that and still hit 95% as our low mark if we fail at that high target.

So far we have been holding fairly consistent to 99% Salvage to create the houses and town. I believe we can aim for that and still hit 95% as our low mark if we fail at that high target.

I won’t keep you long. Just thought you might appreciate the incredible gifts that fall upon us while we sleep sometimes, after the work is done, and all the challenges, hurdles, and learning experiences are complete for the task at hand. While certainly no where near complete, the failure to do this now could have resulted in the damn blowing out again, and losing the many hours of work, fuel, and thought that went into the first half never really knowing just how fast such gifts could come.

Some holes can get deeper than other holes.  Imagine how much water would go into this hole.  It turns out, after about 30' high, overnight, before we finished the overflow ponds to vent the water off too.   Structurally, once we pumped out the water, the sides had survived like concrete after less than an inch of surface area being wet and soft.

Some holes can get deeper than other holes. Imagine how much water would go into this hole. It turns out, after about 30′ high, overnight, before we finished the overflow ponds to vent the water off too. Structurally, once we pumped out the water, the sides had survived like concrete after less than an inch of surface area being wet and soft.

Onward we go with just a few days before we find out who gets to come help and play on my toys to shape the Earth to hold more plants and life this year than ever before.

Darby
2015