Got a Boggy Field

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Farside
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Got a Boggy Field

#1 Post by Farside » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:57 pm

So I surveyed a field today that appears to have once been part of some sort of drainage basin. There are gradual, almost berm like structures along the North and South boundaries (maybe 4 ft high), and a very slight water course that runs in through the middle of the Western boundary, with a boggy low point a little off center near the Eastern boundary.

I doubt that this water course ever gets actual flowing water at the surface. Maybe during the spring melt, but you can see it because of how it effects the vegetation. The rest of the field is extremely lumpy, and chest high with goldenrod and vetch which is right now a sea of purple flowers and humming with bees.

In about 6 weeks we will come in here with a small excavator, and attempt to install a small chanamps system. It will start with a small pond near the Western boundary right where the water course is, and another small pond near the Eastern boundary which will be the new low point in the field.

We will connect the two ponds with a canal about 12ft wide and maybe 4 or 5 ft deep. Every 12 ft we will more 12 ft wide channels that run North/South and feed off from this central canal. The excavated soil will be placed on the fingers of land between them, creating areas of raised soil surrounded by water which we can used for gardening.

In the canals themselves, provided we get permanent water in them, we will make some deep water hydroponics rafts where we will grow lettuce, kale, swiss chard, basil, arugula, and asian greens.

The Northern side of the field will be a great spot for fruit trees, and there is an old well in the NorthWest corner which would be great to connect the chanampa to via a swale network.
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Farside
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Re: Got a Boggy Field

#2 Post by Farside » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:07 pm

This is what I'm thinking of putting in.
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A meandering on-contour swale on the North slope will act as a tree growing system for the fruit, nuts, berry bushes. I can hopefully use the well water if necessary to get the system established. This swale system will drain into the chanampa system during big rain events that exceed it's water absorbing capacity.

The same pond that the swale will drain into will also intercept the existing seepage corridor. The intent is that this pond will be about 6 feet deep or deeper so that maybe it can hold fish one day (around here it will freeze solid if it's not deep enough).

The Eastern side is slightly lower than the Western one and so another pond will go there as a final reservoir of water.

Farside
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Re: Got a Boggy Field

#3 Post by Farside » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:39 pm

I checked out the well yesterday but it's capped with a concrete lid so I'll have to come back another time to see where the water level is (or if there is even water there).

I did notice that there is heavy animal activity along the norther perimeter. It's almost certainly deer, and I think that will be the perfect spot to plant the 12 seabuckthorn cuttings I took this spring and just potted out out their sandy starter bed. It's a Nitrogen fixing shrub that grows about 8-9ft tall. It produces a ton of juicy berries that are bursting with nutrients, and it's covered with 2 inch long spikes. It's the perfect barrier in a cold climate to browsing animals that may damage the fruit trees during winter, where they come in and ring bark trees in their attempt at finding food. Thoughtfully placed, we can redirect animal (and human) traffic to areas that are more suited to their presence. In this case it will be the southern side of the field where we will have alternative food for them like sorghum, sunflowers, and other tall edibles that stick up above the snow pack.

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Re: Got a Boggy Field

#4 Post by Farside » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:22 pm

Today I went out to a patch of hazelnuts that grow wild here. Technically they are filberts and are hardy to zone 3. Nobody gets to pick them because the squirrels get them all, so I layered some wands, and took some cutting to see if I can clone the plants for the swale system. Historically they are grown in conjunction with blackcurrants and asparagus to form an under story guild. I think we'll do the same, but add saskatoon and blueberries.

Diogenese 3
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Re: Got a Boggy Field

#5 Post by Diogenese 3 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:19 pm

You could probably use septic pipe as land drains to give you more avalable soil and less surface " canals "

vonik2
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Re: Got a Boggy Field

#6 Post by vonik2 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:34 pm


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