The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Breaking ground for the greywater wetland

Breaking ground for the greywater wetland

With the first phase of the powerline terrace complete, I decided to move on to our next experimental project --- a greywater wetland.  When I started planning this project in October, I was considering installing a liner to turn the wetland into a pond, but various readers' experiences talked me into keeping it simple.  Chances are, the ground will gley itself after a while and will hold enough water to keep wetland plants happy.  The less long-term maintenance the wetland requires, the better, and unlined, earth-filled wetlands seem to be winners there.

Digging a spot for a wetland

Wetland planI was feeling more loosey-goosey than usual, so I just dug and dug and dug with no real plan for the finished product.  Will I install a bricked-in outlet at the top to keep water from eroding the soil there?  Probably.  Will I use logs to divide the flow into a sinuous pattern and dig deeper areas to make multiple pools?  Maybe.  Will I try to make the final slope more than the current 0.5%?  Not sure.

Other things I'm pondering include building a little deck over the upper end to turn into a laundry station so wash water can dump straight down into the wetland (and so Mark doesn't have to mow around the wringer washer).  I definitely want to mash down the walls into a gentle slope so they will be easy to mow over.  We'll see what decisions the day brings.

Our chicken waterer keeps coops dry and hens happy.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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