We've just had our first real rain since I put in the swale and it has worked exactly as planned. It filled up to level and then slowly out the end furthest from the cabin. I'm looking forward to putting in more and wish I'd made this more of a priority. I am very curious to see what kind of effect this small swale has on the surrounding soil. Even such a small swale, 15 feet in length and just 8 inches deep counting the berm and 15 inches wide collects a good bit of water!
I'll be putting another swale in 20 or so feet further up the hill which will likely be a bit longer, deeper and wider. Beyond that I have a few thoughts about other potential swale locations in the main garden and orchard areas.
On another water harvesting note, both rain barrels are full so that's another 110 gallons and I've got the six barrels I need to set up the collection system behind the cabin. Now I just need to buy the pvc and plumb it all together.