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Permie Pond Pictures!

 
Steve Thorn
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I don't have a pond yet, but I would love to have one (probably a lot more than that ) in the future!

I'd love to see some pictures of other permies' ponds!

I have special memories growing up as a child fishing with relatives in local ponds, so I've always wanted to have one. After seeing all the potential permaculture benefits of ponds, methods of building ponds, and the possibility of tiny ponds, I want one even more!

Tiny ponds, big ponds, fish ponds, beaver ponds, functional ponds, and decorative ponds, I'm excited to see some permie ponds!
 
wayne fajkus
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Been digging around looking for pics. This one must be during construction due to the excavator tracks
This-one-must-be-during-construction-due-to-the-excavator-tracks.jpg
This one must be during construction due to the excavator tracks
This one must be during construction due to the excavator tracks
 
Hugo Morvan
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Helped build this one. Natural swimming pond. Butler style.
A photo of my own tiny natural pond fed by roof water next to veggie patch, populated by plants ocuring in surrounding lakes, streams and ponds, has fish which i don't feed except slugs which i lop in.
BUTLERPOND.jpg
[Thumbnail for BUTLERPOND.jpg]
POND.jpg
small natural pond
small natural pond
 
Travis Johnson
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I have built quite a few ponds, but I do not have any pictures of them because they were ponds for other people. (One was a kids camp).

On my own farm, I have plans for two ponds. One is going to be a half acre, and another about a quarter of an acre, but I have not really prioritized them high enough yet to start.
 
Steve Thorn
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wayne fajkus wrote:Been digging around looking for pics. This one must be during construction due to the excavator tracks



I've enjoyed seeing your other thread about building your pond, it looks great Wayne!

Is that narrow part at the bottom right feeding into the pond, or does that lead to the spillway?
 
Steve Thorn
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Hugo Morvan wrote:A photo of my own tiny natural pond fed by roof water next to veggie patch, populated by plants ocuring in surrounding lakes, streams and ponds, has fish which i don't feed except slugs which i lop in.



Looks great Hugo!

Did you collect the plants and plant them, or did they get spread from visiting animals?

That's nice that the fish have a good supply of food, and maybe most of the bad bugs from the garden will take an accidental swim in there.
 
wayne fajkus
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Steve  that is the exit.  I pulled a couple more pics from my thread. First one shows the rock path the water takes when leaving sediment pond to enter main pond. Second pic is an overhead shot showing both ponds. Sediment collection pond is brown, main pond is green.
thumb-20190508_180244-756x1008.jpg
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Screenshot_20190519-140214_Gallery_crop_540x407.jpg
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20190519-140214_Gallery_crop_540x407.jpg]
 
Travis Johnson
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I do not have any pictures of the ponds on the ground, but three years ago I built these two ponds at a children's camp. It was a "water feature" for their horse pasture. Luckily, I hit a spring when I was digging the upper pond, which by a culvert, fills the lower pond.

Ponds.jpg
two spring fed ponds
two spring fed ponds
 
Dale Hodgins
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My Little Pond doesn't look like much. These pictures were taken shortly after constructions. But it is adjacent to a large wet area owned by a Timber Company. If I suck the water out, it flows back in from beneath. So instead of capturing water, this one simply makes it easy to access a high water table. Even in the driest part of summer, this little pond brings in water.

My phone was acting up because of too many pictures and it turns out that I eliminated all but one from the pond. The water has cleared up nicely now.
20160719_140128.jpg
spring fed pond
spring fed pond
 
Steve Thorn
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wayne fajkus wrote:Steve, that is the exit.  I pulled a couple more pics from my thread. First one shows the rock path the water takes when leaving sediment pond to enter main pond. Second pic is an overhead shot showing both ponds. Sediment collection pond is brown, main pond is green.



That's really neat how they are so different in color, and how clear the second pond is, I think I can even see the stumps in the top right portion of the pond. Do any fish live in the sediment pond?
 
Steve Thorn
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Travis Johnson wrote:I do not have any pictures of the ponds on the ground, but three years ago I built these two ponds at a children's camp. It was a "water feature" for their horse pasture. Luckily, I hit a spring when I was digging the upper pond, which by a culvert, fills the lower pond.



That's neat Travis, looks like quite a job! That's nice it's spring fed, I bet that helps maintain a constant water level.
 
Steve Thorn
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Dale Hodgins wrote:My Little Pond doesn't look like much. These pictures were taken shortly after constructions. But it is adjacent to a large wet area owned by a Timber Company. If I suck the water out, it flows back in from beneath. So instead of capturing water, this one simply makes it easy to access a high water table. Even in the driest part of summer, this little pond brings in water.

My phone was acting up because of too many pictures and it turns out that I eliminated all but one from the pond. The water has cleared up nicely now.



That's really cool Dale! Did you dig it by hand or by machine?

Are any fish or other creatures living in it now?
 
wayne fajkus
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Steve Thorn wrote:

That's really neat how they are so different in color, and how clear the second pond is, I think I can even see the stumps in the top right portion of the pond. Do any fish live in the sediment pond?



I put minnows in for mosquito larvae control. I added crawdads but should have waited a year before adding them. A freshly dug pond has very little vegetation, so very little for them to eat.

Not sure if this is true, but my guess is that racoons are eating the crawdads. I say this because there are tracks all around the pond. Like they are walking around scouting. With little vegetation and a lot of sorghum and millet seeding on the shoreline, i think the crawdads are leaving the water at night to eat. Totally a guess, but i have not seen carcasses around the edge. Crawdad pinchers, etc.
 
Stacy Witscher
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This is our pond last spring when it was full. It is almost empty right now. Come to find out our pond is not permitted, as is a kind that is not allowed in Oregon, but I don't really know if it matters because nobody has been knocking on our door about it.
IMG_0202.JPG
small pond
small pond
 
Stacy Witscher
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My mistake, wrong picture. My eyes aren't what they used to be. Let's try this again.
IMG_0207.JPG
medium sized pond
medium sized pond
 
Travis Johnson
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If you are looking for ideas on how to build the pond, my suggestion is to really look at a bulldozer. It is okay to use an excavator to pull out the bulk of the material, but really a good pond uses a bulldozer to shape the sides. That is because a bulldozer smooths the pond liner and really helps it seal up well, where as with an excavator, it can be more dug and pitted. The bulldozer tracks also help to lock in the rocks in the subsurface too. I really like the two machine approach because with pond building...my pond building anyway, as soon as I start moving dirt, rains come, and with a bulldozer you have to get in the middle and push outward, whereas with an excavator you can reach in and pull the material out. But as I said, a bulldozer always shapes the sides of the pond better.

If you are okay with lily pads and cattails, you will want a very shallow pond edge, because that lets in light to the bottom of the pond, and those sort of things grow. But if you want to stop that, you want a very steep bank which will stop them from growing.

Myself, and this is a personal thing, I always though islands in the middle were kind of fun. Give something for the kids to swim for, a place a gazebo, or put a deckhouse without animals getting to them. But that is just me and my island in the middle of a pond fetish.
 
Steve Thorn
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Those sound like some great tips Travis.

I've always envisioned having a pond one day with an island too, for all the reasons you mentioned.

If I build a pond soon, it will probably be a very tiny pond, maybe I could fit a tiny island in there.

I would love to have a big pond one day with a good sized island, that would be a lot of fun!
 
M. Phelps
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this is what i call the downstream pond



this is the beaver dam holding it back


actually there is another tiny pond below this dam and then it drops another few feet

this was what the upstream pond used to look like


and the dam between them , you can see the downstream pond behind the dead trees


unfortunately that dam washed out and has not yet been rebuilt
there is only a small puddle and a meadow for now
at one point on google maps the upstream pond appeared to be about 4 acres

i would like to use some of the meadow material to make an earthbermed greenhouse ... and to make chinampas..
so when it is rebuilt it will be deeper and have the chinampas along the margins
beavers need the depth so they dont get frozen into their lodge so they should benefit too
 
Richard Gorny
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My pond two months after earthworks have been completed. It will get final shape when all trees and bushes planted around it grow a bit, as well as water plants.
PA263995.JPG
pond with green grass banks
pond with green grass banks
 
Steve Mauro
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This pond is now 3 years old.  We have trout in it and it’s not as clear as I would like to see it but it’s in a bowl of the land so it gets run off besides the springs.
3394BC9D-CE00-4D54-BCB3-77EEDD81FCBA.jpeg
trout pond
trout pond
 
William Egan
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This is a pond I built about 7 years ago I think, I was very resourceful and not counting my tractor, fuel or my time I spent about $600 dollars building it. It is on the highest part of the property so there is no runoff  but I have a 30 x 72 ft. high tunnel that has no problem filling it from the runoff. The pond is 32 x 52 ft. and 11 ft. deep. I lined it with old chain link fence and chicken wire with 2 in. cement. Its got plants on the sides and drain tile under the gravel that the plants are planted in and a pump to circulate the water. It works really well but I am building an earth bermed pond below to circulate  water from to keep the cement pond at a constant level.
I hope maybe this will help give you a few ideas, good luck.
 
Ken Newman
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This pond was built around 20 years ago. It's spring fed and has a nice population of frogs, turtles and such. It also has some really nice bass and catfish. It's on the small side ( 1/2 ) acre but it's deep at the center ( 16' ) so everything survives the Winter no matter how cold it stays. It's a haven for wildlife...I could sit by it all day watching the swallows skim the surface. In the evening the bats take over. There's a overflow to maintain the water level. The spring provides a constant flow with a good rate so we have almost no algae problems, unless there's a bad drought...then we sink a few bales of barley stray, which seems to help a bit.
Took-this-shot-while-we-were-doing-the-third-cutting......jpg
small but deep pond
Took this shot while we were doing the third cutting.....
barn-swallow-flying-over-pond.jpg
barn swallow flying over pond
barn swallow flying over pond
 
Travis Johnson
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My neighbor built a pond quite awhile ago, but I do not like how he built it. he just dug the pond out, hauled the overburden away and dumped it into a big pile. The trees have now grown up through it but it was not really finished well, just dug out. But the interesting thing is, it is heart shaped, so you can really see it from the air or on satellite photos.

It is in a very isolated spot, and is known to locals because they will have drinking parties there. The guy is a hunter so he built a bathroom beside the pond, so kids go up there and start a fire in the burn pit, drink and have a place to go to the bathroom.

We were just there last week. We had a picnic after church at the pond, then hiked down a trail to some "cliffs" that from the top you can see our house and farm. Our daughters enjoyed that.
 
John Hutter
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I was so stoked with my water catchments that I made a video for a friend, whose also a Fleck/Thile fan haha

https://vimeo.com/370541690

apologies for the mud and muddy waters. Those cuts were still fresh when the paddyponds flooded for the first time in early march of this year. All the ugly mud slopes were healed and green 3 months later (I sow weed seed!) but there was no standing water in the big paddy 4 days after that downpour. Lots of sealing to do on that one yet, whereas I cheated and brushed 25 lbs of sodium bentonite dust into the deep cracks of the dry dry summer clay in the upper paddy and it seems to hardly seep at all now

Also, if a person is going to do the somewhat illegal/dreamy thing and have 2 or more sizable water surfaces within about 10 horizontal feet of eachother and with about 10 feet of elevation difference between them on nothing but earthworks, they should probably be sure to make paddies and not ponds (or maximum water depth of like 3 feet I think?)

I observed the catchment wasn't big enough to flood anything more than the neighbor's yard for like a minute or 2 with a 1 or 2 inches of water in the event of a failure, so fu@% it let's experiment. Upon becoming thoroughly wet and holding back its full capacity of water, the embankment didn't melt. Hurray  

I fastened a madrone log to the end of a 6 foot beaked hazel stick and exhausted myself repeatedly mauling the clay when it was properly damp after rains.  Also bunny hops on the catwalk.  The thing's you'll do in the absence of heavy equipment.

Now I just need to make $$$ for an excavator to do a natural swimming pool, not gonna dig that by hand...and to make the tiny paddies as big as the big paddies (and add like 10 more, after removing more stumps by hand derp) and then seal them so well they hold water all summer and get that upper spillway to feed into a big piece of bamboo, which keeps its elevation and extends into the middle of the larger lower paddy.  Waterfalls! Then when things fill up again its gonna get real dreamy
 
Travis Johnson
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I love seeing the beaver ponds, as long as it is oaky with Steve as it is his topic that he started.

Last winter I was looking at geology, and naturally gravitated to the streams, and thus saw a lot of beaver ponds, but in the last few weeks, there have been three logging outfits within a few miles of me, so I am afraid many are no longer as pristine as they used to be. I am glad I was able to take some pictures of them before the woods were logged over.

This is a cool picture. It is on me so it is still safe (although I do log), but it shows (3) beaver dams in a span of only a few hundred feet. It happens to be in a pretty good drop between two major beaver ponds situated 90 degrees to one another. It is not very often you can stand in one spot and take a picture of (3) beaver dams.

beaver-pond.jpg
beaver pond
beaver pond
 
Jason Vath
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Here are some photos of tiny ponds made by 1 person.

1st one is completely dug by hand
2nd one was finished by excavator (interesting story behind it)

for the original threads containing much more info. see links below:

https://permies.com/t/118651/Pond-Hand-dug-month
https://permies.com/t/118974/Pond-Happy-Accident


Pond 1





Pond 2





 
Irene Kightley
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As we're near the top of a hill, we have a lot of small vernal ponds to prevent water run-off. This is one right on top of the hill, looking towards the house.




This is another small pond just in front of the house




The same tiny pond from another angle with ducks and geese enjoying the water




This pond was puddled by the pigs and tends to keep water all year round




This is our biggest pond (A double pond with false bridge) for swimming and fishing, we made it about 30 years ago and it's fed by a stream




This is a pond we re-laid with cement after several years of problems with liners. It's fed rainwater from the house front roof and takes the final water from the grey water sewage system that we finished last week! I can't wait to see how the system works and to make it a pretty place to sit doing nothing.




This is our latest pond which is being puddled by wild boar, it's fed from a swale

 
Glenn Van Agten
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I added a pond this summer, second one on my property so far. It's in area that was previous not farmed because it was too wet, it's at the bottom end of a field where the water naturally channeled and also a frost pocket. It's in clay soil, fed only by surface run-off. Neighbors doubted it would fill up with only surface run-off but I did my homework. It was dug in June and was completely full by the end of August; that's right it filled up in the driest part of the year. I did have some help from Hurricane Dorian; the problem is the solution!

Still some work required in greening dam and edges.


During-pond-construction.jpg
During pond construction
During pond construction
After-pond-construction.jpg
After pond construction
After pond construction
 
Merv Ashby
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We purchased a family property that has many years of neglect, which in some cases is a blessing. Opening up a 100 year old ditch is bringing the big meadow back to solid ground after growing canary grass and cat tails for decades. Undecided about dredging (Corp of Engineers permitted) the glacial bog, but hoping to put in a series of ponds along the drainage ditch toward the creek. My Grandfather had cattle and Timothy in the meadow when the ditches were kept open. The beaver raised the water level with dams in the creek. I am a little old to be starting on this huge endeavor 😜 Silt & Clay under the black peat and volcanic ash with a high water table.
38757515-36B6-4513-8E13-5CDE7C9EBB69.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 38757515-36B6-4513-8E13-5CDE7C9EBB69.jpeg]
Springfed Glacial Kettle Bog transitioning into pasture. 5 acres shrunk to 1.5
Small-test-pond-dig-accessing-peat-for-gardening..jpeg
Small test pond dig accessing peat for gardening.
Small test pond dig accessing peat for gardening.
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excavator digging pond
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Silt/clay layer under Peat and Ash
Silt/clay layer under Peat and Ash
Opening-the-ditch-back-up.jpeg
Opening the ditch back up
Opening the ditch back up
2-ponds-2-creeks-lots-of-water-everywhere-.jpeg
2+ ponds, 2 creeks, lots of water everywhere!
2+ ponds, 2 creeks, lots of water everywhere!
 
Steve Thorn
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I'm really enjoying seeing everyone's ponds, so neat!
 
Daron Williams
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The last couple years I have been getting into building ponds for my restoration work for my day job and that then inspired me to start building ponds on my own wild homestead. The ponds for my restoration work tend to rely on excavators to do the work but the ponds on my own land are all dug by hand with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I'm slowly expanding the ponds at my own place but I need to seal up the dam on the largest one next year. I'm planning on using a sodium bentonite clay layer with a gley layer of animal manure, hay and soil on top of it to seal up the dam. I want the water to soak in slowly through the bottom of the ponds but not through the dam.

Eventually I will be building several additional large (for my land) ponds with sealed dams and a bunch of smaller pools along the seasonal stream that connects all the ponds but these pools won't be sealed. All together the ponds and pools should hold approximately a years worth of water for an average family of 4 in the United States when full. But they should hold far more underground as groundwater and I really hope this will result in the groundwater level rising at the lower end of my property which will help my lower pond stay full in the summer. At least I hope so!

For my restoration work I'm planning on building a series of ponds that will be spring fed and keep water year-round. These ponds are going to be used for environmental education activities such as field trips by local K-12 classes. This should be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it!
pond-complex.jpg
hand dug pond
Lower pond complex on my wild homestead. One day I hope this pond will hold water year-round
restoration-pond.jpg
restoration pond
One of my restoration ponds
restoration-pond-flowing-over-bank.jpg
restoration pond overflowing
Same restoration pond as before but with enough water to sheet-flow over the edge of the pond.
small-pools.jpg
small pools in seasonal stream
Some of the small pools I'm building on my wild homestead. I will be expanding these and building a lot more over time.
 
Steve Thorn
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Anyone got any pictures of their pond this Spring!?
 
D.W. Stratton
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Helped build this one. Natural swimming pond. Butler style.
A photo of my own tiny natural pond fed by roof water next to veggie patch, populated by plants ocuring in surrounding lakes, streams and ponds, has fish which i don't feed except slugs which i lop in.



Were you able to manage this one without a liner?
 
Dennis Bangham
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I found that I had a wet spot at the corner of my shop and lost two fruit trees there due to drowning.  I recently bought a Rural King RK24 Tractor) with backhoe and dug a little hole to see what it looked like.
This picture is the hole 2 months later.  Seems to rise and fall a little with the rain, but since my land is all clay under a very small loam (loam was brought in during house build).
I may make this a little bigger (3x) to see if I can attract birds and insects but so far none have found it.  I may also add some goldfish to keep the mosquito away but suspect the water is too cool for mosquito.
I put concrete blocks in to allow insects and birds to drink without having to swim.  Not sure if this helps.

Anyone know of any greenery I can add to a small pond 12 to 18 inches deep?  
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Dave Miller
pollinator
Posts: 436
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
62
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Here's my little Home Depot pond + home made biofilter.  When I have the pump in the pond (June-September) the water is crystal clear.
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Pond on the left, biofilter on the right. The pile of sticks is for overwintering amphibians. The chunk of wood in the pond is for birds to land on, and pond life to attach to.
Pond on the left, biofilter on the right. The pile of sticks is for overwintering amphibians. The chunk of wood in the pond is for birds to land on, and pond life to attach to.
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Biofilter. I have found that oxygenated water flowing through plant roots is the best way to keep my water clear.
Biofilter. I have found that oxygenated water flowing through plant roots is the best way to keep my water clear.
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I needed a place to put a water-loving plant so I just put it in the pond. Ponds are great places to grow plants because you never have to water or fertilize them :-)
I needed a place to put a water-loving plant so I just put it in the pond. Ponds are great places to grow plants because you never have to water or fertilize them :-)
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Biofilter. The upper black pipe is a top-off from my drip irrigation. The lower back pipe is coming from the pump. The white pipe is the connection back to the pond.
Biofilter. The upper black pipe is a top-off from my drip irrigation. The lower back pipe is coming from the pump. The white pipe is the connection back to the pond.
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The pump filter I use
The pump filter I use
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How the pond looks in June the day I put the pump in (full of suspended algae)
How the pond looks in June the day I put the pump in (full of suspended algae)
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Top of the biofilter a few years ago
Top of the biofilter a few years ago
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What's going on inside the biofilter
What's going on inside the biofilter
 
Myron Platte
Posts: 138
Location: Russia, ~250m altitude, zone 6a, Moscow oblast, in the greater Sergeiv Posad reigon.
18
kids forest garden foraging chicken earthworks homestead
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I dug a pond by hand this year, but I don’t have pictures. It’s just uphill from a birch grove that we are converting to a food forest. We will dig another with an excavator. I will try to get pics.
 
Hugo Morvan
pollinator
Posts: 624
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
244
forest garden fish fungi trees food preservation cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
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DW Stratton, no those are with liners. They're rainwaterfed, so would empty out too much in summer when the inflow is low and the outflow is big. Natural swimming pools usually are rainwaterfed, because that contains much less nutrients for algae to flourish.
 
I have a knack for fixing things like this ... um ... sorry ... here is a concilitory tiny ad:
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