(Published today on permaculturenews.org)
This article is about how we figured out our mainframe design for roads, swales and ponds/dams. The pictures that show how those were installed you can see in an earlier article here.
Because the terrain of our farm was totally overgrown and the topography is a bit complicated, it took us two years to finalize this mainframe design. This process has taught us a few good lessons which I will mention as a possible help for people working on their own design.
In the picture below you can get an impression of our land. Most of our terrain is quite steep, with slopes ranging from 1:3 to 1:1. Only the central part is semi flat, with slopes varying between 1:8 and 1:3. The dotted line is the border of the property.