Pond construction ideas needed (for FranksFarm)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at metalab.unc.edu
Tue Aug 3 13:44:11 EDT 1999

Lawrence F. London, Jr. -+|+- Venaura Farm
london at metalab.unc.edu   lflondon at worldnet.att.net
http://metalab.unc.edu/london, /permaculture, /ecolandtech
EcoLandTech -+|+- InterGarden -+|+- Permaculture
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On Tue, 3 Aug 1999 FranksFarm at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 8/3/99 4:13:50 AM, london at metalab.unc.edu writes:
> <<Lespedeza is an amazing plant.>>  Hmmm...is lespedeza also a nitrogen 
> fixing legume...can't recall for sure. Also can it be utilized as pasture for 
> cattle as part of a grazing mix?

It is a legume and fixes nitrogen, reseeds itself and becomes permanently
established this way and through root division. Very drought resistant,
shades ground well. Again, an amazing plant. I think the variety I planted
was Sericea Lespedeza. The farm supply companies usually have several
varieties, some shorter, for mowing and baleing.
> What kind od seed/variety did you plant? How much seed per acre? How did you 
> sow it? How do you plant it into existing pasture/weed ground?

Just broadcast it or drill it - make sure it gets planted at the right
depth, i.e. shallow, I think. It will take a while to become established
but will eventually outcompete nearly everything else. A very valuable
> With acres of ground to cover what do you feel is best way to disribute the 
> overflow to ensure good even coverage? Drip system would work for high $$ 
> market garden areas, but what about pasture and small orchards?

How about irrigation ditches and occasional flooding of areas planted to
crops or trees. I was actually thinking of having a long row of small
diameter concrete or galvanized culvert pipes embedded in the ground at
shallow depth on the top of the dam (level enough to drive over or pull
carts over) the overflow would then be distributed over a wide area to
dissipate over and irrigate/fertilize the erosion-control plantings on
the dam's slopes. Water channelling using a KeyLine plow could increase
the area the water reaches - this could be redone from time to time. Just
a thought.
> Any other values, benefits, products from lespedeza...also can it be 
> contained fairly easily. I wouldn't want it to over run the place like kudzu 
> or purple loose strife etc.

Nothing wrong with Kudzu. Homework for you, Frank:
How to integrate kudzu into various permaculture systems on one's
property, emphazise the maintenance aspects of kudzu plantings :-)

Here's something interesting on various cover crops used for grazing:
(I have more info on organic chicken feed and cover crops at:
I also have a copy oif the Morrison book Feeds and Feeding mentioned
below, In case you want me to look something up.

Speaking of books and libraries, who in this list is into
collecting (hounding :-) publications on ag, landscaping, gardening,
permaculture? I'm into it in a big way and have a huge library of books
and mags. I know Scott is into this also, and I hear Bill Mollison is
also. Others?
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 08:20:25 -0500
From: Greg & Lei Gunthorp <hey4hogs at kuntrynet.com>
Cc: sanet <sanet-mg at amani.ces.ncsu.edu>
Subject: Re: organic chicken feed recipes.

Ladino clover is a cool season pasture component that will run the highest
levels of protein and amino acid levels (protein building blocks) of any
pasture species.  It will easily bloat ruminants if it makes up too much
of a percentage of the pasture.  

I would strongly suggest you go to the University library and pick up some
old books on poultry production.  An old Morrison Feeds and Feeding, pre
1960, would be a good place to start.  I've got several old hog production
books around here.  I used to have an old poultry production book.  The
research has already been done to demonstrate the effectiveness of various
pasture species in non-ruminant animal production.  Ladino clover was
clearly the best choice.  It might be debatable now days whether alfalfa
should be the king of pastures for chickens and hogs because a lot more
money has been spent on grazing alfalfa species.

A good non-ruminant grazing program in the midwest can be built around
clovers, alfalfa, brassicas(primarily rape), and some vegetative grass. 
Percentage reduction in feed is going to depend a lot on the quality of
pasture grown.  I've got sows that I haven't fed since January.  They
gleaned corn fields all winter and are doing just fine now on pasture.  We
are getting so dry now that I'm going to have to start feeding them.

Good luck,
Greg Gunthorp
Free Range Hog Farmer

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