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Austin Bowden-Kerby 's Profile
Austin  Bowden-Kerby
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Sigatoka, Fiji
Climate Zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

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Terre & Vie Food for Life Kunia Loa Ridge Farmlands PermEco Inc. Vutikalulu Centre
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Terracing Steep Land Using Horses and Bullocks.

Posted by Austin Bowden-Kerby over 10 years ago

In Fiji I learned from an old Indofijian farmer how to terrace the Land- with a wonderful outcome! And without any machines.

The secret to this method is to plow along the countours and only ONE direction- pushing the soil downhill ONLY.  The plow is dragged on its side back to the starting position each time. The first plowing forms a sill that catches the soil from second, third and fourth etc plowings and then the 5th and 6th plowings make a nearly level mini-terrace about 1-1.5 meters wide.   The terrace is finished off by hand using shovels- the uphill side is cut steeper and the terrace becomes wider- the soil is used to square off the outer part of the terrace. The finishing touch is to dig a trench on the uphill side to form a water catchment or swill. This catches any soil that falls from the terrace above and also allows rainwater to slowly be absorbed into the ground.

Voila- a self-watering terrace that will last for generations! 

Using four labourers and a pair of horses, one acre can be finished in about a week:  two days for the plowing, the rest for the finishing work.      


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