On our savannah there is a heavenly hill. Himmelbakken, Heaven Hill, taking its name tongue-in-cheek from Himmelbjerget, Heaven Mountain, in itself, as best a little sarcastic, even if it is most wonderful place to visit with great views. There is also a great view from Himmelbakken over “Egholt Hede“, when looking east, north-east; to the west you look across the savannah, spotting the fertile crescent on the southern reaches, the hedge towards the ornamental garden cutting the land in two, somehow, flanking the kitchen garden and the apple orchard, somewhat.
Made with intent as a landmark by the previous owner with surplus soil, dirt and stones from other parts of the land. On it, this first year of ours here, grew a magnificent thistle, here seen in very late June, after a drought, heatwave and then a period of wet, sunny “normal Danish summer”?:
UPDATE: Summer is leaving us, autumn is on the door step, the winds are coming, the rains are chilling, the bones feel it and the giant thistle withered:
My digital secretary prepared this:
“…Smaller hills and elevation changes can offer several advantages within permaculture systems and more broadly in agricultural and ecological contexts. Here are some of the advantages:
- Water Management:
- Natural Swales: Smaller hills and elevation changes can be used to create natural swales or contour trenches. These swales capture and slow down rainfall runoff, allowing water to infiltrate the soil. This helps in water conservation, reduces erosion, and supports plant growth.
- Temperature Regulation: Varied elevations on a property can create microclimates. Lower areas may be cooler and more humid, while higher points may be warmer and drier. Permaculture practitioners can strategically plant and design based on these microclimates to grow a wider range of crops and extend the growing season.
- Natural Windbreaks: Elevated areas can serve as natural windbreaks. Smaller hills can break the force of strong winds, protecting delicate plants and reducing wind erosion.
- Gravity Flow Irrigation:
- Gravity-Fed Systems: Smaller hills can be used to establish gravity flow irrigation systems. Water can be channeled from a higher point to lower areas, reducing the need for energy-intensive pumping. This is especially beneficial in permaculture where sustainable water management is key.
- View and Aesthetics:
- Scenic Beauty: Elevation changes can enhance the aesthetics of a landscape. Smaller hills can offer scenic viewpoints and create a visually appealing environment, which can be important for residential and recreational areas within permaculture systems.
- Diverse Planting Opportunities:
- Polyculture Planting: Different elevations can be used for diverse planting opportunities. Some plants may thrive at higher elevations, while others may do better in lower areas. This diversity can increase overall productivity and support ecological balance.
- Erosion Control:
- Reduced Erosion: Smaller hills can help slow the flow of water, reducing the risk of erosion on slopes. Erosion control is vital in permaculture systems to maintain soil health and prevent sedimentation in water bodies.
- Habitat Variation:
- Wildlife Habitat: Varied elevations create diverse habitats for wildlife. Smaller hills can support a wider range of plant species and, in turn, attract different animals, promoting biodiversity within permaculture systems.
- Zoning and Accessibility:
- Zoning: Elevation changes can aid in zoning and design within permaculture systems. For example, lower areas may be designated for water features and aquatic plants, while higher points can be used for orchards or dry-tolerant crops. This makes efficient land use possible.
- Educational Opportunities:
- Demonstration: Smaller hills and elevation changes can serve as educational opportunities within permaculture systems. They can showcase how land contouring, water management, and microclimate design work, helping to spread permaculture principles and practices.
In summary, smaller hills and elevation changes offer numerous advantages within permaculture systems and agricultural contexts. They can be harnessed for water management, microclimate design, windbreaks, and diverse planting opportunities. These features enhance ecological sustainability, support diverse habitats, and contribute to the overall resilience and productivity of permaculture landscapes…”.