Monday, April 27, 2015
Yesterday I (Riley) attended a Permablitz at the home of Permaculture Designer and teacher Koreen Breenan, where I learned (hands-on) how to install a small pond, which will ultimately serve as an Edible water garden
First (on fairly level ground) we dug a kidney shaped hole, aproximately 4 foot wide and 9 foot long, with varying depths. (2 ft deep in the shallow end, gradually sloping–with a few terraces– into a deep end of 4 feet).
–We also created a (6 inch deep) wetland along part of the bank, which will enventually be filled in with varoius Aquatic plants that will serve to cleanse and oxyginate the water as well as provide a habitat for frogs and other water loving creatures.
We then walked along the bottom of the pond to compact the soil. –In some places where the soil is mostly clay, this alone might be enough to seal the pond. However, here in florida the soil is very sandy and porous, so extra measures must be taken to ensure the pond will hold water.
To further seal the pond, we overlapped several pieces of salvaged carpet, and then topped that off with an old billboard tarp–making sure the tarp extended the entire perimeter by 2 ft to ensure we could properly weight it’s edges down to prevent it from shifting over time. (If you’re interested in a more natural means of sealing a pond, I recommend gleying.)
Having laid the carpet and tarp, we then used old logs to weight the tarp down and did an impromtu rain dance before calling it a day. The next steps will be to mulch over the edges of the tarp and to create a spillway that will direct the flow of excess water and prevent flooding. This can be done with the use of a pipe, or by creating an earthen channel. (See the above link for simple steps on how to do this).
Once the pond is full of water, Koreen will introduce Gambusia fish (a.k.a. Mosquito Minnows). –These little guys don’t require an air pump, and will serve to keep mosquito populations down (they eat their larvae), while also providing a source of Nitrogen (their poop) for the edible, Aquatic plants Koreen will grow in the pond.
For more detailed information of creating an edble water garden, I recommend the visiting this site.