Sustainable rock wall: local excess rock is used to build a swale wall in our Permaculture garden.

Walls rock!

Walls rock!

When you look at your environment, there are always resources you can use with minimum impact to that environment. A resource found in abundance on our property is rock. We have found rock walls a wonderful way to enhance the garden, stop swale walls from eroding without stopping water flow, holding dirt off a site and to build a building.

Rock is a beautiful but difficult building material, you have to have the time to spend with it. Most of that time is taken to try and find the right rock for the right space. Once the right rock is found, it is put on top of the wall (loose rock wall), or fitted onto the spot and held in place with some wooden wedges (cemented rock wall). In the case of the latter, once enough rocks are in place to warrant making a batch of cement, it is cemented into place and the wooden wedges removed. When the cement is dry, it is scraped to mold nicely around the rock.

The picture above shows a rock wall building in progress. Around the area are a number of rocks waiting to be found so they can be put into the right space…

Some wwoofers enjoyed the rock wall process so much, they returned to our property and stayed to finish a rock wall they had started before they left. It truly is a work of art and is now called: “The Great Wall of Kin Kin”…

This wall stops the erosion of the higher swale wall and stops garden beds from being washed into the swale. Water can still seep through the rock wall into the swale.

If you are interested in finding out more about rock wall building, please contact us. We have regular building courses, rock walls being one of them. Rocks are a beautiful addition to the garden, and seem to fit in beautifully with the surroundings. If you are lucky enough to have natural rock on your property, please start using it! It is a low footprint material with a beautiful feel.

©2010 Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast – Rock wall in our Permaculture garden swale

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