After a recent bushfire consumed all vegetation on his land, a South Australian farmer Brian Fischer decided to etch a gigantic geometric pattern on the bare ground in a bid to fight soil erosion. Without vegetation, the topsoil was vulnerable to erosion by gusting winds. So Fischer ploughed his land in a patchwork of spirals creating long furrows in the topsoil. Now no matter which direction the wind blows there will always be a furrow to catch the soil. Fischer says the pattern cost him a few days to make, but he expects to save 15 cm of topsoil that would have otherwise been lost, until the fields are green again.

Photo credit: Brian Fischer

Photo credit: Brian Fischer

The clever erosion-fighting technique came from his dad, who used it on the farm as early as 1944 during one of the worst droughts South Australia experienced. More than one million hectares of land were destroyed by a raging bushfire in Victoria, prompting some farmers to come up with this unique solution.

 

This feature originally appeared in Amusing Planet.

 

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