[Homestead] Running water that cleanses the soul
erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Wed Jan 7 13:32:40 EST 2009
Gene GeRue wrote:
>> The monster beds themselves contain no soil, just organic matter
>> and compost. A 3 foot tall mass of waste hay, grass, leaves,
>> sticks and manure holds a lot of water.
> Almost ready for filling at Heartwood is a new ferrocement raised bed
> four feet wide and fifteen feet long. Vase shaped. Waist high for
> Chris on the uphill side and for me on the downhill side. My plan
> calls for, from the bottom: rocks, small rocks/gravel, good-sized
> rotten oak branches, small rotten oak branches, mower catches of
> grass and leaves for a filter, then growing soil on top.
That is exactly what I did with the exception that I put wire and old
fencing in the bottom to thwart moles and voles...then added the rocks,
etc. If you ever get to my albums, I have one just on the bed
construction. I have some beds that are 4x14, one 4 by 12, and then I
went to 3x15 and 3x12. I like the 3ft beds better..easier to work.
> Sounds perfect for gravity irrigation. Digging it out by hand would
> get you in primo shape. There are organic sealing methods. I have
> read of a Russian process for creating a waterproof pond bottom; I
> think they call the stuff glee. It's layers of organic matter that
> rot but short of dissipation due to lack of oxygen. Old timers did
> much the same thing by putting hay or straw in the pond bottom, then
> feeding pigs there. The little hooves pack the fibers and poop into a
> water resistant bottom.
Yes, we seriously considered putting the pigs up there, and had it been
dug out, I would have. The problem is fencing the pigs in the
pond...I'm not exactly sure how to do that...the banks are steep, but
pigs dig...I would have to ring them, I think. But yeah, compacted pig
poop was going to be step one.
It has been a year now that we have been on the new well. Flow is
great, I have no complaints. There have been a couple of times, I'm
ashamed to say, that we have left the water running for an hour or so
and even with that, we have never run out of water. We do have a silt
problem though, and it seems to get worse in rainy weather. I think the
rain pushes the silt into the aquifer. We have a filter, of course, and
that takes care of the problem, but the filter still needs replacement
more than I would like. The plan is to add another filter with a larger
capacity, and we have purchased that, but we can't install it until we
rebuild the well house and redo the plumbing. There is simply no room.
That task is on the agenda for the Spring, when there is little chance
of working in freezing conditions.
I took a few more pictures of the creek today. The debris that clouded
the water is gone and the water is crystal clear now. It is beautiful,
but fleeting. The flow is already dropping. The fire is going now, on
this cold, windy, and beautiful day.
"The world is my country, all mankind are my
brethren, and to do good is my religion."
Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809)
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