At some point in the future our budding family wants to have some ducks.
And because we want to let the ducks express their duckness as much as possible, we want to make them a duckpond. Right now I am in the design phase of our property so any changes are quick and easy. We live in Greece, which is a Mediterranean climate like lots of places in Australia. I joined this group for that very reason (and because I dislike the permaculture ‘guru’ Matthew Stephens who runs the biggest permaculture group on facebook).
Anyways. I was thinking how I don’t really want to keep topping up their pond in the summer, which would get unsustainable very fast. Our summers can reach into the 40 degrees Celsius sometimes and if you put a dinner plate of water out it is gone within half an hour… Also we already have a lot of mozzies, and we don’t want to be breeding a load more.
So… Why not give them a big pond to play around in during the wet season (October through to April/May), drain it in spring, and plant it out with crops like pumpkins, sweet potato, potato and other hungry crops?
Then I thought, if I am going to put in a pond with a liner anyway, why not make the bottom of the pond into a wicking bed? I could put in some drainage pipe and gravel with shade-cloth on top, then cover that with the regular soil. I would drain the pond in spring, right when the plants go into the ground. They would get watered through the drainage pipes below the soil they are planted in, massively reducing evaporation. The duck poop from the previous winter would fertilize this area and feed the hungry plants.
I could have a ‘summer bathtub’ for the ducks to play around in, which would need to be emptied every now and then. I would have it placed higher than the drainage pipes and into these pipes is where the mucky water would go, feeding the plants that are growing on top. Perhaps I can even have a small airpump running in air through bubblers in the pipes, to prevent the roots from going anaerobic.
By the time the rain comes back in autumn, my crops should be done growing and the pond would be ready for another winter of duck frolicking.
What do you think? Do you see any holes in this?