I just love surprises.. as long as they are good surprises that is! This week we really needed some good surprises as we had just endured a week straight being stuck inside our house due to a rare 8 1/2 inches of snow that completely paralyzed our town. I can hear you northerners laughing at me as I write this… I know we are somewhat ridiculous with our snow. But since our area is unprepared for such events, our back roads were skating rinks. Unfortunately it wasn’t the fun fluffy snowman building snow.. it was pure ice. After a solid 7 days with 3 little children inside a 1100 square foot house… let’s just say we were ready for spring!
Finally the sun came out, all snow is gone, and we are left with what remains of our sanity and a major mud pit. Our farm road is so bad that we have been busy patching areas with gravel and doing anything we can to limp it along until warm weather returns. We need to grade it and add gravel all the way up, but we are hoping to patch it up until all the big equipment working on the various structures on the farm are done. Fingers Crossed.
All the great weather allowed for the Underground Root Cellar to begin. Phase 1 of 3 was complete this week and while our amazing earth works guy was here for that, he decided to try out a new piece of equipment from a dealer that he is interested in buying. Since the dealer brought a “free” trial piece of equipment to him, he had his current excavator available for no charge. “Do you have any other projects you would like us to do with this free excavator?” Why YES! In the world of earth works the word free is never whispered or thought to even exist. But this week those magical words were said and thus Pond 3 was expanded.
Currently, Pond 3 has been a tiny pond located in the bottom swale yard that receives diverted rain water that runs from the top of the property down the road and the extra water that overflows from the 3 rows of swales that is located in front of it. We new that this area captured a lot of rain water, but once it was originally created, we quickly realized that there was way more water than we were currently holding in the pond. After any good rain, pond 3 would overflow.
While preventing erosion and utilizing our water supply is hugely important, we also really wanted our ducks to have another pond to rotate into. This will allow the plants along the banks to establish while still taking advantage of the free fertilizer the ducks give us.
So while Expanding pond 3 was something on our “do it later” list, we are thrilled for it to get pushed to the front as a completed project. You can see in the pictures that the banks are still a little steep and later this week the crew will be back to flatten it a little. The next step will be to throw down hay and seed the entire area with cover crop. We want to get plants growing as soon as possible to protect the soil. We will hold out on putting the ducks on the pond at night until it is at least partly established but since they free range during the day, I am sure they will enjoy it as another play area.
If you would like to hear more about the Expansion of Pond 3, visit episode #15 of our Sow Edible Permaculture Podcast.