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Fernglade Farm
Fernglade Farm
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Cherokee, Victoria, AU
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Fernglade Farm

Fernglade Farm

Cherokee, AU

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Fernglade Farm – Water Storage Systems (Victoria, Australia)

Project: Fernglade Farm

Posted by Chris McLeod over 9 years ago

This an article on the permaculturenews website about the 3 different water systems at the farm

Spring has arrived early this year. As I write this article, I’m sitting out in the food forest writing on a warm, late winter’s evening, supervising the chickens and pondering the future summer season. You see, water is a critical system at the farm here, so it is often on my mind.


The surrounding tall eucalyptus forest doesn’t need watering during summer. Neither do the well-established fruit trees in the food forest. As the top soil deepens, the trees in the food forest age and their root systems become both more extensive and deeper. They don’t need additional watering during the summer as they can access the groundwater.

Now that they are well established and tested, swales on the farm here direct rainwater into the ground water table, without further effort on my part. If the fruit trees’ root systems can access the water table, they’ll have plenty to drink during the long hot summer.

But, what about those plants whose root systems can’t reach the water table? These are mostly the fast-growing vegetable crops. But, it also includes the potentially long-lived fruit trees that are in their first year or two and haven’t yet developed the extensive root systems that enable them to thrive and survive, as well as their companion plants. New garden beds are also thirsty during summer. All those plants require water to either grow or become well established. So, not only do you need to be able to store rainwater in the water table for the food forest, but you also need to have access to a reliable water supply for watering purposes.

Many rural areas do not have a town water supply connection and this is certainly the case at the farm here. To add further complexity, the volcanic loam soil here makes it very difficult to hold water above ground in a farm dam (pond) without an expensive plastic liner, which I’ve noticed are subject to splits and leaks.


The rest of the article and photos can be found here: http://permaculturenews.org/2014/09/04/fernglade-farm-water-storage-systems-victoria-australia/

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