We are experiencing great success with our duck pond! This hasn't always been the case with this particular part of the property. Around 2012 several teams worked very hard to create two small ponds up by the large bodega. They were very carefully crafted and used fresh water from the creek flowing through the properthy.
The initial plan was to raise tilapia in the ponds as a source of food for Casa de Fe. The plan was great, but the tilapia did not thrive for many reasons. It was projected that the fish would be ready to harvest after around 3 months, but because the water was so cold the fish were taking 6 to 9 months to grow. Once grown, the fish were being stolen. The fish that remained were then killed by poison used by the indigenous folks upstream to harvest fish.
A few years later some modifications were made to the ponds after visiting with some folks who said they thought trout would live well. We worked to provide oxygenation for the water and provide a current as these are both necessary for trout. In the end it was decided trout would not survive, as the temperature was toward the high end and that there are seasons where the water would not flow fast enough to create the desired current.
So what does one do with a fish pond that won't grow fish? One day the answer became clear. Put ducks on it!! The area was already fenced to keep out those wishing to steal fish so why not try ducks? In November 2016 Casa de Fe purchased 3 female ducks and 1 male duck. After a short learning curve Jaime became successful at raising them and chickens were added to the project. Jaime built a makeshift fence to hold the chickens and Casa de Fe was well on its way to sustainable food. As predators became a concern geese and turkeys were added for protection. This program has been extremely successful. After two years there are now 90 ducks, 12 chickens (with many new babies), 3 turkeys with 24 eggs ready to hatch, and 3 geese who are a bit slow in making eggs! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on the creation of the ponds. Your labor has made a huge impact by helping Casa de Fe raise its own food for our children in need.