Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Growing ponds

Continuing the water storage theme, the bottom ponds have expanded again. We have yet to fill the top ponds – there hasn’t been enough water coming down the stream to do so without compromising the water supply for our neighbours further downstream. This small expansion of about 1,000 litres’ capacity gives us a much deeper section to the top pond, as well as increasing the amount of bank in contact with water and allowing us to extend the growing area. It also potentially allows us to take water further along the terrace once this dry spell is over and we have an adequate flow of water again.

Digging the new pond section

Duncan also cleared all the vigorous overgrowth from around the ponds, allowing the planting of some ornamentals such as yellow flag iris and canna lilies as well as butternut squash, amaranth and some heritage soya beans which are being grown for seed for a larger sowing next year. We’ve also planted some reeds to help keep the water clean and fresh, although there’s been no problem with water quality so far.

Filling the new pond section

Filling the new pond section

The ponds cleared and partially planted

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