Some of my loyal followers may remember me talking at length about how to design a pond the permaculture way some 2 years ago. The most ardent followers may even remember us digging with a bunch of helpers. You may be forgiven if you think that this pond surely by now is well up and running, flourishing and teeming with wildlife. However... In permaculture design we use the SADIMET model: Survey, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Evaluation, Tweaking. Yes, and now we are at the tweaking stage. First of all the trick to grow clover in the base of the pond to seal it didn't work. Secondly, the area above the pond site was still too steep and subsequent landslides filled in much of what we had previously dug out.
So first of all we had to secure the area above by terracing it. Luckily we've been having plenty of helpers around. First and foremost may I present you with our long-term helper for the summer, non other than Jaap, the son of Conspiracy Cousin, Buddha Barti, who had been living with us until his untimely demise last year.
Regular readers might see the resemblance.
Anyway we also had some short term helpers and despite the heat we built some terraces above the pond using old palettes as support. Zosia and Igor from Poland helped during the first stage.
And Marianna from... well actually she's a bit confused... French, American, Italian, English? Anyway, I knew her from one of the permaculture courses I helped to teach.
Next step is to excavate the pond a bit more again and this time we'll try lining it with cat litter made from pure bentonite to keep the water in. If that works, we'll start planting. We're off to the European Permaculture Convergence in Bulgaria next week, from which I'll be reporting back. Jaap in the meantime will hold the fort back at the ranch with a couple of friends of his.