Silt Harvesting…Benefiting From Climate Change

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When beginning to plant the land here at Bealtaine Cottage over ten years ago, one of the most important tasks was to dig out drains and create two large ponds.

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The upper pond is mainly to catch the silt washed down from the hilly land behind the cottage.

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The lower pond as a pure delight for humans…a place where the sky is pulled onto the earth and light is reflected upwards, back towards the sky.

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In order to keep the reflective powers of the water, it is essential for me to clear the pond weeds and plants every year.

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This is an arduous task, but a beneficial one for all the trees here in the Bog Gardens.

As I pull up the weed, huge roots packed with fertile silt come up with it.

This is then spread around trees and shrubs in the gardens.

There is a substantial amount of fertility spread this way.

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However, further back, in the silt pond, the sandy, loamy soil is dredged out in buckets.

All this is happening because of extreme weather, causing heavy rains that leach the soil on the hill and wash it down into the stream that feeds the ponds.

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In the face of climate change, it is imperative we adapt in these small ways, for much of our topsoil is being washed into the oceans.

Besides which, silt is one of the most productive soils known to humankind!


  1. Hi Colette, Your notes to us about what you are actually doing with your land, and how you are doing it is most helpful and encouraging. More details please! Thank you.

  2. I love that idea in Permaculture about keeping the water on site for as long as possible. It seems to me that is what you are doing here Colette which allows the Silt to be deposited in the pond. It must be very fulfilling to see your design of the site from 10 years ago functioning so well today.

    On a side note, I am curious if your ponds are lined with anything to hold the water within or is the bedrock doing that job?

    Thanks for another great post.

  3. this is a magnificant and EDUCATIONAL post…which is SO appreciated….it’s speaking
    to the REAL question of how do we go Forward in a loving and productive way.
    You may already know this book, but if not, i think you would appreciate it…
    Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm…beyond the doors of perception into the dreaming of the earth …… Stephen Harrod Buhner
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your words here today. so much.

Your comments are welcome!