Pond2

In preparing for to our homestead, it has been an ongoing discussion about whether to create a pond or not. A real pond, not a garden pond. A pond can offer many positive things to a homestead. Mother Earth News has a wonderful article about how to build a pond and one about how to build one at low cost, so I’m not going to revisit that here. I’m simply going to list the attributes that having a pond on your homestead might provide. The most important thing with a pond is proper set up from the beginning with the proper fish and plants, that way maintenance is kept to a minimum.

Fish

Perhaps first and foremost, creating a pond on your property provides you the opportunity to stock it with fish. This is not only great for recreational fishing, but in the event of any problems (like SHTF), you will have fish to eat. I don’t love fish, but I will eat them if I have to. Better to be safe than sorry. If you plan to stock your pond, be sure to research exactly what kind of fish are best. Some only do well in very large areas or during certain months, etc. You want to create a self-sustaining ecosystem, not something that you have to take care of, or worse, more livestock to feed. For instance, if you are stocking bass or channel cats, you will need to make sure there is enough food for them in the form of other fish by also stocking shiners and minnows. Otherwise, you will have to buy commercial feed to give them.

Water for livestock and plants

Having a pond means always having available water, especially for your garden and your livestock. Nature knows how to care for itself, so the proper balance of fish and aquatic plants will ensure that the water is clean and safe enough for your animals to want to drink and to nourish your garden.

Fire Fighting

In the unfortunate event of a fire, a pond on the property can help provide water to fight the fire.

Ducks and geese

A pond on the property creates a nice place to raise ducks and geese. Ducks and geese are wonderful to watch, they provide useful fertilizer and they can be eaten. If you plan to keep ducks or geese, you must be aware that they pollute the water, eat your plants and may eat your fish. You should also provide nesting areas for them so that hopefully you won’t have to hunt the eggs down (you may still have to). They can also carry parasites and bacteria from another body of water. If your pond is on the smaller side, ducks and geese are probably not for you.

Hunting

Depending on where you live (and if you eat meat), a pond can attract animals that want to drink, which is often helpful with hunting.

Recreation

Lastly, ponds provide recreation and fun for your homestead. Depending on how big it is, it can provide boating, swimming, fishing and more. Again, the proper balance of fish and plants ensures the water is safe to swim in.

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