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wayne fajkus
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I'm going to document what I've done and where I'm going in relation to earthworks. I built a pond, now I'm trying to keep it full. Here's a pic when full.
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wayne fajkus
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The water fills fast, but also falls fast. My belief in using pigs is that they seal the edges. Water increases and they seal the next few inches. And up you go.

Mine fills from a few inches of rain. I'm having to seal on the way down as it drops about 6" a day. The last time it filled up, I put the cows in that paddock. They are tromping the perimeter.
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wayne fajkus
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About 100 yards upstream, I put in a road and raised the culvert, acting as a dam. It's a temporary deal as I expect it to wash out. But this is the result. I did have a little washout, easily fixed.
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wayne fajkus
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Another 100 yards upstream is the magic spot. It's a spring (seepage) that can flow up to 12 weeks after a rain. The goal is getting it to flow longer. It's seems that when it flows, the pond stays at a constant level.not full, but it doesn't fall.

When I first started on this it was a solid thicket of cedars and dense growth. You could not see the ravine.
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wayne fajkus
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In the above pic , the tpost/fencing are protecting some of the 16 trees I planted. Pecan, fig, persimmons, peach, pear. This is my food forest.
 
wayne fajkus
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When we cleared the brush out, we noticed a man made rock sidewalk across the ravine. Just rocks set across it. I think what happened is the rocks stayed put as the upstream side eroded out. Once there was sufficient height from erosion, Sticks and debris got caught on the rocks and made a beaver dam of sorts.
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wayne fajkus
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This gave me inspiration for a debris dam a little further down stream, but before the road. It's a section I didn't clear out. I'm putting debris in there. The thicket should keep it from washing down stream. Hopefully it will grow.
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wayne fajkus
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This is part of the ravine area. 2 big magnificent oak trees.I swear the Temps drop 10 degrees when you walk under them. The amount of mustang grape vines and thorny vines I pulled out of them was amazing.  I wish I had " before" pics.
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wayne fajkus
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A better pic of the oaks that were hidden in the thicket.
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wayne fajkus
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While winter feeding the cows, I put their Hay in a different spot each time. It leaves a good bit of mulch, manure, and urine in that spot. I put it where I think it will help the most.

I removed some of the ground hay to mulch around the trees I planted. I was amazed how wet the bottom layer was. It's been about a month since it rained.

Our goal is 2 cows, but currently have 4. My father in law  rotates cows in and out of his place. Like if he don't want them bred, or he'll bring momma and baby to stay a while.

It's been one year since the cows came.
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wayne fajkus
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This is an interesting setup. Ignore the deer skull, its why i originally took the pic. 

I'm on nasty well water. My fridge has a water and ice dispenser on the door.

The water jug fits over the igloo water jug. I removed the dispenser from the igloo and connected a water line to a small well pump w pressure tank built in. This runs to the fridge.

It's fits very well. And it bubbles down as needed to keep the igloo full. The neat thing is you can fill it with rainwater just as easy as refilling it at a water store.
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wayne fajkus
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Interesting test. I'll see how it goes. I stuck leftover shallot bulbs straight into cow patties.  It's been a couple weeks. I'm not gonna water them. But it's cool that they sprouted.
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wayne fajkus
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This is in a sheep paddock. Just thought it interesting. I assume the dark green patches are where they urinated.

Some of the stuff we permies take pics of.....lol
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wayne fajkus
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Our chicken tractor. I've since added a pullet shut self opening,closing door.

Advise for chicken tractors, 1" chicken wire not good enuff. We had to add a layer of 1/2" hardware cloth around the outside. We lost 2 chickens that were inside. A raccoon reached in a tried to pull the chicken thru the poultry wire.  All he got was a head, and then a leg. The hardware cloth resolved the issue.

The bedding area is off the ground with hardware cloth as a floor so the poop self removes. Or should self remove. I made a mistake of using 1/4" hardware cloth cause I had it laying around. 1/2" works better. I have to hose it down thru the mesh.

Eggs are retrieved from a lid in back.
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wayne fajkus
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This shows the automatic door. You can also see that the front is a big fold down gate. In case I have to go inside
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wayne fajkus
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I have 6000 gallon capacity water tanks. The cow trough is supplied by this. I also water a feed plot for deer with it.

For rain harvest, I use a groundfos pump. It's brilliant. It uses standard 110v plug and needs no pressure tank. The down stream pipe is the pressure tank. It has a built in back flow preventer and pressure guage.
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wayne fajkus
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If you zoom in on water tank, you can see the transition area. An angled screen kicks out debris while water goes thru it. It's a clever design. I think it's made in australia.
 
wayne fajkus
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Here's some debris placed against the thicket. Will see how it does after it rains.
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wayne fajkus
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I've learned where trees want to be. It's anywhere a bird poops. Cedars are choking out my oaks. I've been selective cutting. Only removing them from oaks. If the cedar is by itself, I'm letting them be.

I'm slowly collecting nice cedar posts.  A wofati may be in my future.for now, I've used them with electric fencing to make cow padfocks.
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wayne fajkus
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Here's an oak island that has been cleared.
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wayne fajkus
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Im proud of this deer blind. Only thing bought was the floor lumber. Roof is a large satellite dish that came with the property. Walls are from a picket fence that was torn down.
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Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Looking good!  With rain harvesting earthworks, even little changes can make a big positive difference.  Although the rock dams I made are very small, already they are collecting soil and growing grass.  I'm especially interested in how your pond develops.  I still dream of a real pond.....
 
wayne fajkus
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We had 1.5 inches rain. The debris dam didn't hold anything but there's a layer of small bits that got filtered by it.
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wayne fajkus
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The raised culvert held back a decent amount
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wayne fajkus
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Shallots are still.doing well. These are the bulbs I plopped into a cow patty.
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wayne fajkus
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I spent some time on a swale to feed the creek that feeds the pond. Lol. First thing was build a contour marker. I made an "A". First came the /\. Then i set it on a level floor and screwed the - in it using a level. I stopped at that point, just using the level on the crossbar to find contour.
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wayne fajkus
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This is 3 passes with a single plow, then pushing the dirt over. I'll make it wider and deeper soon.
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wayne fajkus
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I made one more pass.
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wayne fajkus
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Our sheep had twins. Pretty excited. Our goal with sheep is 2 females and one ram. This should get 4 to 6 offspring per year and manageable with our small acreage.

Momma is a Katadyn,  daddy is a st croix. As we replace the breeder, we will switch to all st croix.
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wayne fajkus
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I planted asparagus roots at edge of ravine. I used rocks on 3 sides to level it out. More soil.will be added.
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wayne fajkus
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My spinach, kale,  lettuce patch is producing faster than we can eat it.
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wayne fajkus
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Found a crawdad in the ravine today. Water still coming out, but at a lesser pace.
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Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Congrats on the Crawdad!  We had Bluegill in the creek one wet year - they must have washed down from a neighbor's pond. 
 
wayne fajkus
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The pond got guppies and frogs almost immediately. Then turtles showed . It's amazing to watch it happen. Like , where did THOSE come from. Lol
 
wayne fajkus
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Here's my front yard. It was grazing area for sheep. We are turning it into butterfly/hummingbird area. After fixing driveway. Water now slopes that way. I'm making a swale/dry creek bed. Will line it with rocks. I need to use it as a road once in a while.

I planted my container Meyers lemon and my orange tree today. Misc  flowering plants are close to house. Its work in progress.
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wayne fajkus
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This is my reoccurring tomato patch. They come back on their own from seed. Thought they weren't gonna come this year. We cleaned the weeds out of the bed, added some horse manure and then it rained.
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wayne fajkus
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Results of brush dam from last rain. A good layer of leaves got washed up against the brush. I'm hoping it continues.

Since I don't have a beaver, I gotta be the beaver.
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