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

Pond and wetland greening up


Greywater wetlandAs I suspected would happen, the main garden got going before I really finished our greywater wetland and mini-pond.  One of these days, I'll come back to the project --- channeling roof water into the wetland, putting rocks around the pond as edging so it's less obvious the liner is a hunk of plastic, painting the washing machine so it doesn't rust away, and making another cobbled area for a bathtub.  Luckily, nature has been busy smoothing out the rough edges of the project despite neglect on my part.

I'll start your tour with the wetland, which is definitely doing its primary job of soaking up our sink water and keeping Lucy out of the food scraps in the effluent.  The cattails we transplanted near the entrance are coming up too!  The jury's still out on whether this spot will stay wet enough to really support wetland plants, but so far so good.

Tadpole snail

Meanwhile, the little pond is coming to life very quickly now that we're getting some warm days.  I know at least two of the three goldfish are still alive, and my various inoculants have done a good job of introducing more pond life, like the tadpole snail above, a subterranean striped beetle, and some nearly microscopic something-or-others.  Plus, the water is no longer crystal clear, but is instead teeming with algae, and the surface is becoming covered with duckweed.  If we do decide to play with aquaponics, the pond is definitely strong enough now to get a system going.

Or maybe it'll just sit there through the summer and keep me happy whenever I look out the back door.  Either way works.

Keep your hens cool this summer with a POOP-free waterer.

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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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I'm in love with your blog. You guys are such an inspiration. I especially like how informative your articles are.

One quick question. I'm assuming you have to be careful with what detergents you use when using the grey water to fill you pond. What soaps are you currently using?

Comment by elie Sat Apr 27 12:00:39 2013
Elie --- Even though I tend to post about them together because they're in the same place, there's not enough water going into the wetland to overflow into the pond. So we just use run-of-the-mill (although unscented) detergents, which seem to work fine in the wetland. Phosphates in detergents can cause problems when discharged into water, but in a controlled wetland environment like ours, that phosphate is really just fertilizer.
Comment by anna Sun Apr 28 07:52:52 2013

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