Monday, November 7, 2011

water resources

When we first started to get to know our property, one homesteading aspiration that kept popping into my head was to dig an idyllic farm pond. Actually, we already have a pond, but it is very small, maybe 12 feet in diameter, located partway up the mountain, and tucked in a small hollow among the trees. It supports who knows how many frogs, turtles, and other wild critters. While kinda awesome just because of its secret location, it's not really an ideal location for supporting livestock, although we have talked about enlarging it and making it into a cool little respite up the mountain, perhaps with a little sleeping cabin and fire pit for friends or family that want to visit but have some privacy.

We have two springs, a bubbling creek, and what appears to be sufficient water to support ourselves, a large garden, and at least a few animals. If our water supply ever becomes an issue, we figure we'll try the rainwater catchment route. But considering the average monthly rainfall in our region ranges from 3 to 5 inches per month year round, I don't think we're going to be hurting for water.

One of our two springs. Free water!

500 gallon holding tank. It doesn't get any better than this, people.

This is what I envision:

Image courtesy of Creek Country Real Estate and taken from  MLS #735200,
which is also in Kyles Ford, TN. Buy it and come be our neighbors!

We might have a pretty ideal spot near where the old farmhouse use to be. We were told by the former owner that a farmhouse that was built around the same time as our barn used to exist in the meadow above our spring. The house was falling apart, so they disassembled it and sold the vintage wormy chestnut logs and wood that originally formed the skeleton of the house. The shape of our meadow kinda reminds me of the image above, so it might be a good spot, although we were warned to be careful when digging a new pond because you don't want to drain your spring!

Forgive my crappy MS Paint representation of a pond.

I've read that ponds can be a rather delicate undertaking. You must ensure that it is dug properly, has some sort of overflow relief, has an efficient liner if your soil does not have enough clay in it, and supports the ideal ecological makeup for your area so that maintenance can be kept to a minimum. I'm not real sure that this location would be ideal for the livestock we end up with either, but wouldn't it be awesome to go skinny dipping in it on a hot summer night? YES PLEASE.

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