Fire Pond and Self Watering Nursery
A rural pond and hugelkultur provide increasing fire protection and water resilience.
Designed by Element Eco-Design with input from All Points Land Design, a fire-prevention pond and large-scale hugelkultur were installed to catch and store water to increase resiliency on the property. Both were built during a co-taught weekend workshop introducing earthworks for water harvesting, soil storage, fire prevention, and drought resilience.
The primary challenge was siting and building the pond on a steep property at relatively high elevation, with northward slope aspect.
- 250,000 L pond installed for fire prevention and water storage
- 150 ft long, 15 ft wide, 10 ft tall hugelkultur installed using excavator with full-length trees, debris and decomposing wood from pond site
- hugelkultur provided a windbreak to decrease pond evaporation
This project continues to amaze and delight. During the first season, the hugelkultur wicked water that entered the pond, retaining moisture throughout a long, hot summer. The vegetation has done extraordinarily well, and all cover crops established quickly and remain vigorous. The pond continues to fill, with enough capacity to freeze over in the first year even after a drought. The owners report higher soil moisture (improved hydration) downslope from the earthworks.
Analysis and earthworks to replace costly irrigation and road repair bills.
A food forest appears on a steep slope between two parking lots.
Prolific berry and fruit production on terraces provides income and farm status.