Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WTF? A Man-Made Natural Pond?

By definition a "Natural Pond" is a small body of water that occurs naturally. So a man-made natural pond is really a contradiction that can only be partially correct, either it's man-made or it's natural. So I am using the term as more of a loose description rather than a definition.

So what I mean by a "Natural Pond" is a pond that closely resembles that which occurs naturally. We will let nature handle everything that it can, and only intervene when necessary. Once the pond has fully cycled and is running as expected, there is very little we need to do, except reap the benefits.

So what is this natural pond and how does it work?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting Rid of Your Swimming Pool

OK. So you want to get rid of your swimming pool. But what do you want to do with it?

There are basically 2 options:
1. Fill it in and landscape the area.
2. Utilize the giant hole in your yard and convert it to something else.

Fill it in and then landscape
This is the most common way to get rid of the pool. Many people choose this option because it seems like the easiest way to go. But is it? In most cases, filling in a swimming pool is a huge task that will more than likely destroy a large part of your yard. In order to get the fill dirt from the street to the pool some sort of earth moving vehicle will be used, and it will need a large path. Over your lawn, through your fence, through your garden, etc... Now you will have to get those areas restored. It is usually much more work than most people realize. And because it is a lot of work, it's going to cost more than you would guess.

For my pool to be filled in, it would have cost $15,000. Now that is just to fill it in, nothing else. To get the landscape done, you can add another $10,000 or more, depending on what you want done. So you can figure about $25,000 to get rid of your pool this way.

Convert it to something else
There are many things you can do with your pool. Your are only limited by your own imagination with this option. Some things I considered were an underground cold storage or a game room. Generally, converting your pool means utilizing the hole instead of filling it.

After contemplating my options I came to the conclusion that I wanted a pond. But not just any pond. I wanted to create an environment that would be Earth friendly, inexpensive, and low maintenance. These are 3 things that are not usually associated with a normal pond. But integrating the beauty and landscape of a fish pond, aquaculture for healthy fish, and hydroponics to grow vegetables and flowers, you can achieve all three. And it can be done for a fraction of what it would cost to get your pool filled. A big reason it's cheap is because you can do it yourself. I am at the back end of the project right now and the total cost is about $3,000. And even if you can't do it yourself and you have to hire someone, it can be done much cheaper than any other option.

Given the advantages of this "Natural" pond, I believe it is the best choice for the environment and your pocket book. And among other things, you will have a nice, organic food source in your own backyard.