Last Friday I was able to dig most of the pond for the orchard. I chose the crotch of the small valley on the site as the site, so that drainage from the surrounding slopes can collect there, and hopefully recharge the water on-site. There was 2-3ft of topsoil before I hit clay and sand which I kept seperate so as to till into the rest of the site (in some areas the clay is almost on the surface). I also measured the site with a tape measure in order to create an accurate plan.
The next steps are to plan and then dig the keyline swales. I’ve been listening and researching P.E. Yeoman’s “keyline” system which is a form of small scale geo-engineering involving swales on contour (podcast by Agroinnovations and another). These swales help hold the water on the site and create more moist habitats for plants and mitigate drought risk.