As I previously have mentioned, our farm sits in a valley and therefore our home, horse pastures, and barn and stable are located in the low points of our local area. As a result we regularly experience water runoff from the higher elevations and the nearby roadways. The gentleman that owned our farm before us ran field drains in the main pasture areas. He built the original barn and pasture fencing himself and raised beef and swine for years.
Unfortunately the terra-cotta field drains he placed in years ago became clogged with time and also began to break down. In addition, there are small springs/underground runoff areas on our property that seem to come and go when the water table is high and low.
The water from the springs, roadways, rain and runoff have added some extra havoc to our farm the during times of rain or wet seasons. The property did not always lay wet, when we first bought our homestead there was still drainage that must have functioned at least for various parts of the property. However, the past few years those original drains broke down completely. We have been working at completing one project at a time to keep our animals healthy and safe, our barn and stable dry, and our home in good condition.
Below are some images of water laying in areas consistently throughout the rainy seasons of the year before we added drainage to our property.
However, we were extremely blessed after talking with our local conservation district about our drainage issues in our pastures. The location of our small horse farm is near a local run of a stream that qualified for funding through a grant that they assisted with for local farms. Since our water issues were draining into this particular watershed the conservation district was not only able to help us come up with a plan as I had hoped, but also help us with the financial burden of fixing many of the water issues. Their help permitted us to put in several subsurface field drains, a main path to our most often used pasture gate and new fencing to help with rotational grazing (we reused posts and other essential parts), and a few automatic waterers that are designed for cold climate and do not use electricity.
We opted to have a contractor (bidded out by the conservation district) do most of the work. Especially with the work being done very shortly after my husband’s cardiac arrest. This was the best choice to have the work done right and efficiently in the time frames that needed to occur.
We are extremely grateful to the conservation district for their help. Our property is MUCH improved because of their generosity and assistance. We have been enjoying the rotational grazing, waterers, newer safer fence, and the MUCH needed drainage they helped install on our property. We have added some more drains once we knew there were still a few underlying issues near gates. We will talk about those more in a future post.