(continued from home page. What is an earth pond?)
Earth ponds could be ponds for swimming, lovely garden ponds, or ponds for raising trout.
Size will vary according to design, budget, and availability of water, but these ponds commonly range from about 50 ft in diameter to several surface acres. Although we do work with water gardens, smaller decorative pools often require artificial liners and water circulation systems, and are not considered "natural ponds." If you can swim and catch fish in it, it's an Earth Pond.
Earth ponds can be used for both recreational and practical ends. Swimming, fishing, and skating are just a few of the common recreational uses. Functional uses include garden ponds, aquaculture, irrigation, drought relief, mosquito control and west nile virus management, hydro power, geothermal heating and cooling, wetland construction, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, and more. Often recreational and practical functions can be combined. For example, swimming ponds are frequently used to raise fish, and may also include a fire protection hydrant, and garden irrigation features.
Tim Matson, a prize-winning writer and aquaculture consultant, has been advising people how to build and maintain ponds and wetlands for more than 25 years through Earth Ponds, his pond design and restoration consulting firm. He has written numerous articles on ponds and aquaculture for Yankee, Harrowsmith Country Life, Country Journal, Vermont Life, Audubon, and other periodicals. He is the author of the Earth Ponds, Earth Ponds Sourcebook, and Earth Ponds A to Z. He also produced the Earth Ponds Video. Matson has presented his ideas at seminars and conferences around the U.S. He lives in Vermont.