Today we went for a great adventure to help our friends at Hawkeye Ranch build a pond on their land. They've got lots of permaculture projects underway, and we're always up for an opportunity to learn!
It started with digging a great big hole, deep enough to expose large quantities of natural clay in the earth. Adding water to make the clay workable, we then squished and smeared and spread the clay all over the walls of the hole. Of course, the kids spent a lot of time simply squeezing it between their toes; occasionally attempting to throw some.
Mud is great for the microbiome, which means immunity. It's also a useful form of sunscreen. Plus, it's a delightfully grounding sensory experience. The kids were in exuberantly good moods for the rest of the day!
Once the hole is totally coated in mud, they'll light a fire inside. The heat from the flames will harden the clay so that it is able to hold water on its own. Eventually the pond will be home to tilapia whose poop makes perfect food for plants. This is called aquaponics, and it's a brilliant way to to grow happy fruits and veggies.