One of the first things we learned from last year’s drought—every farm needs an alternative water supply! Farming friends that we made last year at the local farm market shared with us that they only had produce to sell because they used their pond to keep their gardens going. Pond water is the best option if there is lack of rainfall—pond water is naturally filtered and is full of nutrients that plants can readily use in times of stress. Another big plus: if you have the space, a large pond can supply you with fish to eat.
Every forest needs a natural water supply: a pond, a creek, a brook; something that will provide water for the beneficial insects, birds, reptiles and small mammals that will make the whole ecosystem work. So, in lieu of a naturally occurring pond, we must add one.
Here is the result of the research on the ‘perfect’ farm pond. We have decided to go with a natural swimming pool/pond. The idea is still just beginning to catch on here in the States, but has been in use in Europe since the late 80’s. We are in love with this idea. It will be half shallow areas covered in gravel and planted with pond plants that will act as natural filters for the water. The plants will use up the nutrients so that algae will have nothing to grow on. The plants also will be yet another attractant to beneficials who will feed on mosquitos. The other half of the pond will be deeper water without plant material so that the humans, ducks and dogs can cool off in clean water; a swimming pool that needs no chemicals and a pond that will take care of itself once it is established.
We don’t have all the details ironed out yet. We did find out that here where we live, if the pond is hand-dug we don’t need a permit so, . . . this will be the first project we start, but will most likely take us most of the summer season to accomplish! Hard work, but I’d much rather be out in the open air adding value to our lives than hanging out in a high-priced, air-conditioned gym!
Links to sites about natural swimming pool/ponds: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/natural-pools-swimming-ponds.html , www.motherearthnews.com