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

Sky pond awakes

Snail and duckweed

How's the sky pond doing, you may be wondering?  (Okay, you probably weren't, but I was.)

Muddy sky pond

From a distance, the answer would be --- not good.  It got too muddy for me to replace the gutter line Lucy tore up, so the area I was trying to channel water out of is pure mud.  Not very photogenic or efficient to walk through.

Dog looking in pond

But Lucy reminded me to look closer....

Water snails

In the pond itself, I was surprised by the masses of living things waking up from the cold winter.  There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of these little water snails lining the walls, eating decaying vegetation.  Last summer, the parrot's feather and duckweed really took off, and most of the plants didn't survive the winter, so there's plenty of decomposing vegetation in the pond now to feed the snails.  If I could think of an easy way to harvest them, I suspect I could get enough protein out of these little critters to feed our flock for a day or two, leaving plenty of snails behind to repopulate the pond.

Chorus frog eggs

I don't know if the parrot's feather will come back to life, but the duckweed is already spreading across the surface.  The chorus frogs moved in about a week ago, and have been yelling in Mark's ears ever since, leaving behind their little clusters of eggs that will soon turn into tadpoles.  And lots of little water insects are scurrying about in the water.  Maybe Mark's right and this pond could host a goldfish or two this year.

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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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