Category Archives: Watershed Restoration

Call to Country: Present vs Future, Money vs Water

Everything we do, and everything we are, stands for what this short vid stands for. Regeneration and stewardship of healthy land, water, air, earth and sky.  Continue reading

Watershed Restoration: The Cutting Edge

This short documentary is about a weekend workshop hosted recently by Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center.

Watershed Restoration: The Cutting Edge was taught by Brad Lancaster, Amanda Bramble, Jan-Willem Jansens, Steve Carson, and Craig Sponholtz. It focused on catching, sinking, storing, and using water where it falls.

So good to see this knowledge gaining ground spreading far and wide! We loved having Craig Sponholtz at Milkwood Farm last year…

Erosion restoration design, one year on


Last spring the Milkwood interns cooked up a design to tackle the erosion on a degraded hillside next to the woolshed, and then implemented and planted it all out. This design was done collaboratively and realised with simple tools and natural materials. One year on, it’s working a treat.

The parameters for this design had constraints of time and budget, as well as the fact that the area to be dealt with was quite large and exposed. On top of these factors, in the middle of the area was a former path that was eroding into a gully. Not good. Time to fix. Continue reading

Zuni bowl, one year on…

It’s a whole year since we made our first Zuni Bowl at Milkwood Farm to combat an erosive gully headcut, and time has proved the benefits of this simple yet powerful handmade technique nicely. One year on, the zuni bowl has 10cm of silt covering its paved floor, the vegetation around it is stable and thriving, and the headcut has halted.

Big thanks to Tamara Gadzia for leading us through this restoration process last year, and also to Craig Sponholtz for furthering our knowledge in it since…

Watershed Restoration: Constructing a Media Luna

Recently at Milkwood Farm, Craig Sponholtz led a course in Applied Watershed Restoration, and taught us all a bit about how to tackle on-farm erosion control with human-scale solutions.

One of the things we constructed as part of the workshop was a media luna, a simple but effective rockwork structure that can be used to subtly manipulate sheet flow in a number of ways to prevent erosion… Continue reading

Applied Watershed Restoration: choosing some sites

So it’s only 2 weeks until Australia’s first EVER Applied Watershed Restoration course, which is happening at Milkwood Farm (and is FarmReady approved. And will be incredible. Ok, end pitch… but you really would be crazy not to join us).

Like many farms with fragile soils, Milkwood Farm has many examples of small-scale erosion – in our case, a legacy from previous landholders. I went looking for typical examples that we could use as part of the course. I have never been so excited about photographing erosion. Continue reading

Craig Sponholtz talks watershed restoration (video)

Here’s a great video of Craig Sponholtz explaining his guidelines for watershed restoration. As with much of permaculture design, it’s all about expanding the edges of fertility, and starting with what you have. Which, is the case of re-hydrating a landscape, is the wet spots!

It’s important to have options for fixing erosion and repairing your landscape’s hydrology that can be achieved at human scale, with the available labor that you have. And as you can see from this video, restoring moisture to the landscape is all about small slow solutions… Continue reading

Advanced Watershed Restoration, here we come…

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It is with great excitement that we’re announcing an upcoming Advanced Watershed Restoration course at Milkwood Farm, with Craig Sponholtz. Huzzah!

As part of RegenAG, we’ve managed to haul Craig out to Australia for a couple of weeks to skill us up on some ground-breaking, doable techniques in erosion control and passive water harvesting, as first brought to prominence in ‘Let the Water do the Work’ by Bill Zeedyk. Continue reading

Making a Zuni Bowl: Let the Water do the Work

A zuni bowl is a riparian restoration technique involving rocks, water, biology and time. It’s a great way of dealing with a small headcut (or erosion which is about to become a headcut) in order to prevent that headcut continuing up your catchment.

Headcuts are not an uncommon sight in our valley’s many gullies. Many decades of clearing the land and grazing pressure have made the soils very fragile. For a long time, we’ve been scouting around for the best way to deal with them using simple, accessible materials and knowledge. And now we’re starting to find answers. Continue reading


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