Mike: Our farm, like many, is one that has a pond on it. The spring-fed pond, we believe, was built back in the late ’40s or early ’50s.
When we purchased the farm five years ago, we knew the pond needed fixing up. The dam leaked, the inlet was silted shut, muskrat dens were on one side, and the banks and fence around the pond were so overgrown that you couldn’t access it. When we built the driveway for our house, I tried to fix the dam and put in a new overflow pipe, but heavy rains washed that away.
Sheilah: I’ve been after Mike for some time to work around the pond and fix it up. It looks bad and it isn’t safe. We had no idea how deep it was, and you can’t see anything around it with the brush. We wanted to have it fenced off when we moved, so we didn’t have to worry about the boys being around it, but the fencing company still hasn’t shown up to fence it yet.
Mike: For once someone not showing up to their work was a good thing. What do you do in a drought? You take advantage of springs that aren’t running, you fire up a couple pumps and you drain your pond.
After we got it drained, we rented an excavator. It hadn’t rained for a month. And an hour into the project, it started to rain. We ended up with 3 inches. Needless to say, we had to pump the water out again.
I had a couple of friends show up after work to help every day for a week. We cleaned away all the brush and some old fence, and we found the edge of the pond the entire way around. We came up with a plan to repair the dam, and to install a new overflow outlet for the pond.
Sheilah: With the water drained out of the pond, we were finally able to find out how deep it was.
With the overgrown brush and trees removed, we are able to walk around the pond, and we have grass and wildflowers planted around it. I did lose the best blackberry patch that we ever had, but I know we will replace those one day soon.
We are still waiting for some rain to have the pond fill up, but I know when it does it will not only look a lot nicer, but it will be safer for our family as well. We even had a family of six ducks show up, and they seem to be sticking around now.
Sheilah and Mike Reskovac and their sons farm near Uniontown, Pa. Check out all of their Two Hearts, One Harvest blogs.