Bobby Eshleman wrote:Thanks for all the great advice. Abe, that dry pond sounds really interesting. I live in Oregon, and usually the cheapest land is in Eastern Oregon, specifically Lake County. The plot I saw and got me thinking was one that evidentally had been used for logging since a lot of the trees are growing right next to cleanly cut stumps. My brother tells me that all that land is useless, but he also doesn't know anything about earthworks and water catchment besides using barrels, and also doesn't know anything about the function of perennial root systems in maintaining soil health, forest gardening in retaining water, and so any of his plans using only conventional organic farming methods will require a more abundant supply of rainfall than is really necessary IMO. Although, he could be right in some ways, but neither of us could know without actually finding out the info and estimate the cost and efficacy of rainwater harvesting techniques.
That web soil survey site looks helpful, i'll learn how to use it properly to get more info. It's cool to know that the Soil Conservation Service/Extension service can sometimes do such surveys for free!
I think that a pond is especially necessary in an arid climate as your"water bank" in the event of hard times. In fact even in my part of the world, the Chihuhuan Desert, there is rain. 100 years ago it averaged slightly higher than 12 inches per year, lately its more like 6 inches with our current droughty situation. Desert rains around the world typically come not as they do in the NE USA, a bit here and a bit there with March being the wettest, but late Summer, and as a mini monsoon. You may get 75 percent of your rain in one evening and you must be ready to catch it. I have heard the nightmarish "cant catch rainwater" regs from other parts of the country (chiefly legistlature that benefits the cattle industry) but Texas has no such restrictions. Come on down.....PS I hope to start a Tilapia pond this Fall, fed on algae and freshwater shrimp. Mike L.
John Polk wrote:Make sure to carefully study your state's laws regarding water rights.
In Oregon (and many other western states) rains that fall on your land belong to the public, not you. If you build ponds, dams, or other structures to keep this water, you may need to buy water rights to use it.
Michael Langtry wrote:Abe I like it! Nice engineering and generous of you also to post construction pics of it. But I mispoke earlier or just didnt change the idea of "ponds". My own project is only half dug at this time, but it will ultimately will be well below ground (where prying eyes will not be able to see it). It will be part of the house, and will do double duty as a Tilapia pond, and organic-hydroponics above assisting filtration....I think of as the heart of the house.
I agree in this part of the world, evaporation from the high temps would defeat the purpose of an open pond, ( but Im sure would attract all manner of desert life) water catchment in this part of the world should have a lid on it to conserve evaporated water. I am also hoping that the water, well below ground will absorb the ambient temperature from the cooler earth and keep the house overall cooler. I am also wondering if it is possible to run some sort of air vent through it to cool the house with a primitive sort of air conditioning.
Can I ask (other than that Pursilane) what you are having success growing out there??? Thanks... Mike