On Monday, my dad came with his Kubota to help divert surface water which comes from the North. I'm following a permaculture system brought to my attention by Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design in Vermont. He has a book coming out but not until June...too late for what I need to do right now, unfortunately. I have fruit and berry trees coming next week, and they will be incorporated into our system.
Basically, we created swales - on contour - and seeded the bare spots with clover and other nitrogen-fixers for a cover crop. On the swales, we will be growing a variety of fruit, nut, and berry-producing trees that will soak up the runoff, nitrogen, and organic fertilizers.
Mulch (donated by Windswept Tree Service in Cortland) and burlap will act as a weed guard for the trees, positioned at the top of the berm. A lot of planning has gone into this as some trees need male pollinators, specific pH and sun requirements, and/or lots of space.
The chickens take advantage of the overturned soil to search for worms and grubs. These free-range strutters are now producing about 10-13 deep-orange yolked eggs a day now.