W.A.S.P.A, which is really popular in permaculture circles. It stands for Water, Access. Structures, Plants and Animals and lays out the order in which you should implement your design for ultimate ease and flow. Let me step you through the thinking and considerations…. And then confess a bit of a stuff up on our behalf when implementing our our design (an ongoing process).
1. WaterImplementing water first up can include large scale earth works (i.e. dams and keyline systems) where you have big machinery coming through your property, you can see our own earth works we’ve completed here. As we’re on an urban block there are no dams, buts lots of terracing, and passive water harvesting systems, including swale paths. You really don’t want to be trying to do this work once you have other things in place i.e. fencing, as you’ll end up having to rip it out and put it back again, a whole world of pain which is best to avoid. Of course, water systems can be happen on a much smaller scale and involve installing taps, drip line irrigation (something we’re still planning to do), rain tanks or simply digging a trench with a mattock and shovel to direct water flow. Regardless of scale, it’s best to get this all sorted first up so you can then support what’s to come – cause lets face it folks – water is life. No water no life.
A snapshot of the major earthworks we did on our place within a month of arriving. The blue lines indicate where the key access paths/swale paths are now located.