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Keyline- A question from a novice

 
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Hello everyone.

So my grandma has some land and me and my husband are trying to help regenerate the land as much as possible we bought a book about regenerative agriculture, and it talks about keyline, now I did my research and the book talks about it too, I know how to read the maps I know how to find the key point. The thing is ...

I have a topographic map of the mountain where the land is, but I don't have a topographic map of the parcel of land itself.
I know they are necessary, but can I somehow use the topographic lines of the big map to make my swales and my gardens?
The thing is we don't have a ton of money and to bring someone to do a topographic service on the site would be quite expensive so we are looking for options.
Thank you in advance!
 
steward & bricolagier
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Hi Daniela!   Welcome to Permies!
The big topo map will show you the basic lay of the land, then use a smaller level to determine exactly where you want swales etc. A topo service is way more than you probably need, and low tech stuff works well and MUCH MUCH cheaper.

My favorite small level is a bunyip type thing I made. Incredibly easy to use. Out of this thread here on permies Forming swales (or anything) on contour I snagged this video on them. I haven't watched it, but they are so basic that has to make as much sense as anything.



That same thread has a few other options too. A lot of people use A frame type levels, I really think a basic bunyip is much easier to deal with, less time and effort to make, and just as accurate.
Check out the Earthworks forum here on permies for a LOT more info about what you might want or not want to do. Depending on your climate, different techniques are useful.

:D
 
Daniela Pereira
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Hi Daniela!   Welcome to Permies!
The big topo map will show you the basic lay of the land, then use a smaller level to determine exactly where you want swales etc. A topo service is way more than you probably need, and low tech stuff works well and MUCH MUCH cheaper.

My favorite small level is a bunyip type thing I made. Incredibly easy to use. Out of this thread here on permies Forming swales (or anything) on contour I snagged this video on them. I haven't watched it, but they are so basic that has to make as much sense as anything.



That same thread has a few other options too. A lot of people use A frame type levels, I really think a basic bunyip is much easier to deal with, less time and effort to make, and just as accurate.
Check out the Earthworks forum here on permies for a LOT more info about what you might want or not want to do. Depending on your climate, different techniques are useful.

:D





It was exactly something like this that I was looking for!  Thank you so much for answering!
 
pollinator
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Then push stakes in the ground at intervals along the contours.
When its finished, set up a triangulation table and plot the contours on paper so it can be overlayed on a maplater.
 
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Daniela, we found a free topo map through our county website. There was a link to look up satellite plat maps with an option for contour lines with elevations. However, we didn't find it terribly accurate for our particular piece of property.

Probably the cheapest and easiest tool, is one you can build yourself, an a-frame level.


They are said to be quite accurate.
 
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