Our block is not only in an arid environment, with skeletal soils, but it is naturally pretty much flat (maybe a 10cm slope over the length of the block) so we decided quite early on that we would need to do some pretty serious earthworks to increase our chances of success – permaculture works best with slopes. We didn’t want massive mountains but just enough to put some contours in the land and direct the flow of water around the property. So in late April 2013 we drove 6 hours to Adelaide and picked up a hire ‘Dingo Digger’ and bring it back for the week.
I had never done anything like drive a digger so it was a steep learning curve but it was also quite a bit of fun. The transformation of the section of the yard that I was concentrating on was phenomenal and it was really revitalising to see such a step forward in our plans. Of course, it was not all smooth sailing as unfortunately the alternator seized mid project and I had to drive the digger back to Adelaide and pick up a replacement meaning that it was a very exhausting week and a half. The hire company we used were very helpful though and made sure that we were looked after for the trouble we had so it was a positive experience overall.
I still wasn’t very good at taking ‘progress’ photos though so the following is really the best that we have: