A Fertigation System, with Duck Pond at the Off-Grid Homestead
I am in the duck pond at the off-grid homestead in North Carolina. It is one of a series of collection areas for the fertigation system of the southern food forest. We completed the northern food forest about a month ago and you can see the buckwheat is starting to dry out, and will start to fall down to the ground and germinate that area, which help the fruit trees and berries that we have in there grow.
This fertigation system for the southern food forest is fed by the overflow of the potable water system which includes the spring water, that is being collected in the valley, on the other side of the property. From the spring, the water goes down into a tank, and from there it falls down the mountain and is pushed through a high lifter pump up to the other side of the mountain, in to two three thousand gallon tanks that are about 150′-0″ up the mountain, behind the house.
Since the spring is constant, those tanks will fill up, and when they do, the overflow comes back down the mountain and through that first food forest underground right to here. This smaller pipe is the overflow from those tanks. The larger pipe is from the floor drain in the barn. When the duck pond, which is about four to five feet deep, fills up, it will overflow over the embankment here and flow down into the food forest area to irrigate the crops.
It’s called a duck pond because, when the owners decide they’re ready, they’ll get some ducks in here, and their poop will add nutrients to the water that’ll mix in. When that overflow happens, it will not just irrigate with nutrient-rich water from the duck pond.
There will also be overflow that leaves through a pipe, below grade and over to three different swales in other areas of the food forest. Here are the incoming and outgoing pipes one of the outgoing pipe comes down to this second of three swales. Swale number three has a feeder pipe only, and it’s overflow will run over its embankment and feed and fertilize and irrigate the crops below it
This the southern food forest and its fertigation system in this area. It doesn’t really matter whether the owners put the ducks in there or not, it’s at least an irrigation system. With the Ducks in the pond, the nutrients will help these crops grow, live and produce better for generations to come.
It’s all part of the self-reliance, self-sustaining Permaculture farming approach. It’s a beautiful thing, and I know these owners are real excited to get get going start living off the land
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