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bob day
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buckingham, virginia, United States
Climate Zone:
Warm Temperate

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(projects i'm involved in)

Darlene Galbreath David Pitman Franek Lazarewicz Gregory Crawford Henry Maxey Laurie Whiston Marion Johnson Mary Fink Nes Abdu
David Pitman Franek Lazarewicz Geoff Lawton Gregory Crawford Laurie Whiston

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Update February 15, 2021

Posted by bob day almost 2 years ago

It never stops being fun

I'm going to keep this brief, or as brief as I can.

The basics for this half of my system are in fairly good order, but now as the original expansions have come close to being fully implemented it's funny how a new pond, or new garden suddenly suggests itself or appears magically almost full fledged with very little actual conscious involvement.

Seems I remember hearing something about don't try and complicate your systems too much, they will complicate themselves.  So now as the upper pond has finally overflowed  it's time to connect to the massive swale that runs all the way to the other boundary, then drops down and connects to a dry well type pond-- no matter how much it rains, there's never much more than a small mudpuddle. But now , once connected into the gulley pond system that may change.

The middle pond got connected to it's swale a couple years ago, and even though it often suffered with low water and drying out, now it seems to be overflowing continuously and the "dry well" pond it connects to constantly has a fair amount of water,sometimes even overflowing to it's own massive swale.

Last Spring I bit the bullet and hired a forest mulcher for a single day, he made the paths, then I followed behind him making the swales, and hot on the heels of that effort was 250 black locust seedlings, 100 honey locust, some willows on the back of the upper dam, and mulberries planted around the edges of both upper and middle ponds.

After everything being fairly dry for a couple years I wondered if the upper pond would always be a small green body of water in a very large hole. Now I wonder if it will ever be dry enough to work in again.

That's the thing with these systems, they seem to change overnight, and yet can go for years with next to nothing happening.

Gardens are coming together everywhere, especially on the edges of the ponds. I usually start them with an observation"oh that might be a good place for a garden" after doing some other project, then a test crop one year, maybe a better crop the next, and suddenly it's almost like I planned it all from the beginning.

So aside from the initial design I turned into geoff's Permaculture class as a project,  I got into koi for fun. Just an experiment that turned into lots of research, and discovery of a low(no) maintenance wetland filtration system that is routinely used for koi ponds.  I kind of went well beyond the more natural mud bottom ponds, because the area where I wanted the pond would not seal enough to justify an investment of koi, so I bought a liner  which took a lot of nerve, since I hate spending money, still not really sure why, except for my fascination with the fish. 

But as the wetland filters and artificial waterfall started to take shape suddenly opportunities for wetland style crops becomes very apparent.  Wasabia Japonica, the real wasabi ,sells for 75$/pound and few people have ever actually tasted it. the paste evryone uses is actually just horse radish with coloring. But it evidently likes to grow in running water, so that is my first experimental crop for the wetland/waterfall project.

It's tough to keep up with everything, that's happening , even my own website  is in constant need of attention. bob

upper pond

middle pond

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My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
Geoff Lawton online PDC 2014
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: Apr 2014

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