This blog post is part of the popular series called, ‘What If I had 7 Acres‘. It’s an online challenge that I threw to pick ideas on what would people do if they had the chance to play with 7 acres of farm land. You don’t necessarily have to have the land to take part.
Samuel Eddy‘s ideas have been brilliant and practical. His 3rd installment in this series talks about the importance of a pond in your farm. For his other parts, look for links at the bottom.
“Now that the area of 7 acres has been fenced and we have an impressive gateway, the next thing I would do is to get a contour map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contour_map). If you feel this is too much, figure out using your eyesight to identify the highest point in your farm and trace out or mark or peg a Farm pond! The reason why I am suggesting a farm pond is that you want to save every drop of rain water and thus “raise” your farm’s water table .
Also by excavating a farm pond you will be able to have enough soil for landscaping your farm. Stones if any from this excavation can be used to line the farm pond. The soil can be used to also make your own mud blocks to build your farm house. Use a JCB (earth excavator) to do this and estimate costs.
Photo by MassDistraction
A good idea to figure out the highest point is also by observing how the water runs after a rain and follow this contour. Having the pond at the highest point also helps irrigate the farm using the gravity instead of pumping up the water which adds to the energy costs.
A pond also is aesthetically beautiful as there is nothing more serene than a pond. Also this can be used to improve revenue streams as I shall explain later.
A few pond suggestions are given below. Have a irregular shape .The following links help in calculating the surface area and /or calculate the amount of water your pond will hold. ( http://www.watergarden.com/calculate/Flex/FlexVolumeCalculator.html). I would suggest a half an acre farm pond which means it is about 21860 sq ft.
Photo by FireSign
When I build my pond I would also plan to have a water sluice like the one pictured below to control the flow of water, besides having a overflow section where the excess water will flow out during the rainy season.This overflow section can continue as a stream across the farm with a series of check dams which will help conserve water.
I would then plant a whole lot of water plants like the Lotus etc but I will elaborate that in another post!”
Other posts in this series:
Part 1 : Fencing Tips
Part 2 : Tips on How to Name Your Farm