The Big Dig


Wow.


This past weekend we excavated & built our pond. It was one of those surreal experiences where it just came together better than either of us could have imagined. We continue to find ourselves in shock that this vision became reality.



Purpose of a Pond on the Ranch:


Our land is rather wet - by digging the pond (we did get approval through the state first) it allows some of our surrounding wetlands to drain off, and become more useful land for future agricultural use.


We also live a pretty good ways into the woods, in a log cabin, so a water source that size is a safety measure if there was ever a fire emergency.


It provides our waterfowl a natural place to live, as well as boat loads of fun for observing acquatic wildlife, paddleboarding, dog swimming, and ice skating, as well as increasing the size of our front yard and providing a beautiful memorial spot for the magnolia grove.





When our excavation team arrived, the big dig began by pulling out stumps and brush that created the swamp that was here previously.





Prior to committing to the pond size and depth, we had dug test holes to ensure that water would fill naturally and hold the water without drainage concerns.


We are so pleased to find that the water rushed in and the pond filled nearly overnight (without rain for a couple weeks)! It has even pooled over the culvert pipes that were installed in the side incase of overflow.


Naturally, we tested it out right away.


This project, though seemingly as simple as digging a hole, is far more in depth. To properly create burms on the pond's edge, you have to know how to grade and level - you need to know where to expect erosion, you have to consider the water table in the ground and where your well is for providing water to your home. There's a fair amount to take into consideration...


One of the things we are so blown away by is the combined talent and knowledge of some of our closest friends who were willing to help us build this. Watching each other become skilled professionals and grow into such great people is so cool and we can't say enough about how thankful we are to have them in our lives.


While digging, we learned a lot about the earth and soil that makes up our property. We also unearthed various rocks, stones, and petrified wood that hasn't seen the light of day in hundreds of years. Some were added to the pond edge as neat landscaping elements.





As the soil from the pond was being excavated, the fill was being brought by the dump truck load up to the barn lot to level the land in preparation for barn raising in June. We are pleased that everything that came out of the pond will be utilized here again.


The next steps will include:


  • Allowing the pond to continue to fill & letting the water settle so it becomes clear.


  • Installation of a fountain to keep water moving, warding off mosquitos and keeping it from becoming stagnant.


  • Layering and seeding the burms with the fermented (left to sit and drain out in the sun for a period) soil that was pulled from the pond that contained helpful organic materials perfect for growing grass.


  • Planting the magnolia grove and adding any other landscape elements.



We hope you enjoy following along our journey to our dream ranch! For more photos and pond bloopers, visit us on Facebook!

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