Students of Geoff’s Online Permaculture Design Course have question-and-answer sessions where Geoff fields a number of questions every week and answers them via videos. This question was pulled from the 2021 collection. For an in-depth dive into all things permaculture, check out the free Masterclass


I know the course will get to this later, but there is so much talk in permaculture about slope and swales, what do you do if you have a flat lot with an abundance of water?

Key Takeaways

Nothing is perfectly flat, but anything can have swales or canals moved around through it. The great thing about flattish land is that it much more usable. Deeper swales could turn into the little canals to become more like chinampas. The extra material from digging the swale will create a higher mound, which will drain better. The real disadvantage to flat land is there is no head pressure, but really, it’s just a matter of creating a solution from the problem.

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About Geoff:

Geoff is a world-renowned permaculture consultant, designer, and teacher that has established demonstration sites that function as education centers in all the world’s major climates. Geoff has dedicated his life to spreading permaculture design across the globe and inspiring people to take care of the earth, each other, and to return the surplus.

About Permaculture:

Permaculture is conscious, intentional design in which diverse, stable and resilient ecosystems are assimilated to help people provide their food, energy, shelter, and other needs in a sustainable way, abusing neither the planet nor the humans relying on it. Permaculture focuses on a variety of topics, including agriculture, forestry, water harvesting, renewable energy, eco-building, waste management, animal systems, economics, technology, & community development.

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