I live in Borsod county in Hungary where my wife was born.
We have a beautiful level 3000 m3 beside the Reformed Church in Malyi, where her parents gardened all their lives. I began reclaiming the overgrown orchard 2 years ago by chopping and dropping all the overgrowth. Starting with a unidirectional forestry mulcher, traditional crop shredder, axes, scythes, and finishing with a blade strimmer. As it is nearly perfectly flat I did not consider building swales etc but have begun building gardens and attempting to rehabilitate the mostly plum orchard. I hauled 300 m3 of horse manure and 60 m3 of wood chips to prepare for our first garden in 2015.
We obtained a 20 plus year lease on 2000 m3 of the Reformed Church garden directly beside our property. We also negotiated all the rainwater from their out buildings which they are renovating. This land has also been neglected for the past several decades but is not overgrown like our own had been. A local fellow has been harvesting grass for his rabbits here and it is reverting to weed and undesirable species. It is a perfect example of the Law of the First Bite. He only cuts and drys the desirable species( just like a cow would!) and it is a horrible mess. I will begin pasturing chickens here and will allow him to continue harvesting for a season or two. I hope to produce more and better grass than he gets now on just a small portion.
We also recently surveyed a few smaller properties around the village. We have a small 800 m3 area in the area that was used to grow grain. This is slightly sloped buit very small ...being 6.79 m wide and 125 m long. We start here by shredding all the scrub trees that have grown up here. I will plant trees on contour here on a wide spacing. I will do minimum earthworks here until we can acquire lands to the north (upslope) .
Above the village will be my main permaculture project. We have about 5000m3 within a 2.5 hectare site. We have secured leases on 2 properties within this area totaling another 6000 m3. This is a wonderful site. It is situated in and surrounded by mostly abandoned (as most of Hungary is) and under used and uncared for lands. While not quite the top of a hill the land will collect all the runoff from these lands above. A small walking path on the west and north side denotes this block. Much of this fence line is overgrown and can be a living fence with some planting. A gently sloping over grown open area is next which we will rehabilitate with earth works, tree planting and pasture.The pasture falls away steeply in a wooded area, again overgrown and untended. Selective cutting and replanting with desired species will greatly improve productivity here.After this sharp fall in elevation the land gently slopes down to a second walking path, again over grown and untended tree growth dominates this area.