When I built the pond in front of the house (the one that catches the rainwater overflow) I was left with several yards of spoils. They had been stacked up for several months and were quite unsightly – with weeds growing in great abundance. So I finally broke down and rented a dump trailer from home depot and put the spoils to good use.
The first project was to build a culvert in the low area below the main dam (the one that holds back the 2 acre pond). As the water overflows the dam, it rushes down through a wooded area and down south toward before it connects with the intermittent creek. There was already a culvert over the intermittent creek on this end of the property, but in order for me to get to the eastern 30 acres, I had to drive over the dam. Not a terrible inconvenience, but since my awesome neighbors had given me a damaged culvert they found on their property when the moved in, I thought I’d put it to good use. After having repaired the dented section (I used a hydraulic jack inside the pipe to reshape it) I set it in place and hauled the clay spoils from my overflow retention pond down there and formed a nice drive that will provide easy access without the risk of getting stuck.
I was then left with several piles of loamy sand (the topsoil) that I needed to put to use. I augmented this with some of the silt that I dug from the intermittent creek bed (thus providing watering holes for those times when the creek goes dry) and made some raised beds around the pond for herbs, bushes, and trees. One of the beds I made into a huglekulter bed by placing rotting branches and logs at the base. The idea behind huglekultur is that the wood holds water like a sponge; decomposes and provides nutrients for several years. On top of the huglebed I planted water-loving mulberry (Shangri La) and elderberry (York). I have a few other plants that I will put in and lots of room for stuff come this spring. Here are some pictures of the process.