Dave Boehnlein wrote:Crystal,
To create chinampas we start by taking brush and prunings from other parts of the property and piling them up in the area we want the island (or peninsula) to be. We keep doing this until there is an area of roughly the size and shape we want. Then we get in the marsh (on a nice, warm summer day) and dig up muck and sediment around the area and pile it on top. We do this until all the sticks are covered. In order to avoid sloughing at the edges we will often pound in some willow stakes. These stakes will often start to grow. Their roots will form a matrix that will stabilize the chinampa.
After about a year of decomposition the island will sink. We will repeat the process of throwing woody material on followed by muck. Each year the island will stay a bit higher and become a bit richer than the year before until, eventually, it is elevated out of the water year round.