What is Aquarian Acres?
Aquarian Acres is the future homestead for two modern day pioneers. We are both Aquarians, born three days apart, and we desire to lived surrounded by nature. It has become our goal to reestablish what ought to be a lush mountainside, and make our homestead live up to its name by restoring the natural fresh water landscape.
The current state of Aquarian Acres is beautiful, but not pretty. Allow me to elaborate.
Hundreds of scraggily pine trees, currant bushes, cacti, and wild grasses compose the nearly 40 acre property.
Nestled in the center are massive granite boulders of which an intermittent stream majestically grazes atop. However, the stream only lasts a couple months out of the year...
The top soil is repeatedly washed away through flash floods, leading to erosion and the destruction of the native flora. Aquarian acres is an immensely dusty, rocky, harsh landscape.
However through some of our early endeavors we are beginning to see the amazing potential becoming reality!
Over the next years, we will continue to implement time proven permaculture techniques of terracing, water retention, and biodiverse planting to cultivate what we envision, an alpine sanctuary of the highest degree.
Take a quick tour down the
"Dream Stream" at Aquarian Acres!
THAT TIME MOTHER NATURE SHOWED US HOW SHE FLOWS
On a trip up to Aquarian Acres in August of 2018, we were nearly swept off the road by a torrential downpour. We kept on and as the storm cleared a breathtaking and alarming sight unfolded. For one, there was actually flowing water in the stream! On the other hand, fully grown bushes and trees had literally just been ripped from the Earth.
We learned a lot from Nature that day. The water gracefully ran down the typically dry stream bed as though it had been doing it for millions of years. While the scene was gorgeous, we knew it wouldn't last. Upon returning again some time later, the creek had run dry again.
Yet, the lessons taught to us that day will live on forever through our future endeavors to restore this seasonal stream into a year round creek.
Our first test garden.
On May 16th, 2020 we chose the least sloped area to sow a mixture of many various plants to see if the land can support any of it naturally.
By encouraging biodiversity, we will hopefully develop a robust root system. This will help to keep moisture and retain soil.
We simply scattered seeds and kicked a little soil on them. This included Vetch, Lupines, Rye, Winter Wheat, and lots of Rocky Mountain wildflowers.
We planted plants and sowed seeds with the belief that they could survive the desert mountain climate with NO EXTRA WATERING!
WE ARE SEEING SUCCESS!
In the spring of 2021 we returned to find that the lilacs and sunchokes have both taken root and seem to be surviving just fine without much extra attention.
Though the sunchokes do appreciate their cages to keep the deers at bay.
At the same time, we started more experimental dry plants. We of course started more lilacs, as well we dry planted clary sage and a sweet cherry tree. We look forward to the results of this new test!
We are also seeing the difference from our early efforts in stream restoration!
In some areas I have been simply removing the silt and debris that has collected in these natural ponds.
I am not doing anything to reshape or resize them.
My aim is to reverse the damage that erosion and time have caused on this amazing natural aquascape.
We love it up here at 9000 ft and wouldn't trade the struggles of establishing life here for anything.
This is our home state, our dream landscape, and a challenge that we hope others will appreciate and be inspired by.
Regenerative and small scale agriculture are the future.
Attempting a permaculture homestead of this magnitude is nothing short of a huge undertaking.
This has become a life's work in the making.
Follow along as we set out to achieve our dreams. I hope you can be inspired to follow your heart too.