Ron Tagliabue (NEW)

Don't forget! Friday Night at The Farm is Friday, May 17. Food trucks will be on site and the activity committee has games planned for the evening. Eat, stay around and socialize with your neighbors.

Saturday, May 18 is the Craft Day. The class is full but watch for the date of the next one and sign up early.

Family pool night is scheduled for Friday, June 8, from 6 – 10 p.m. Food trucks, Brazuka Bowls and Six in a Ness will be on site for your dining pleasure. Bring the family enjoy the food, and stay for a dip in the pool.

Wednesday, May 22 is The Orchards’ annual meeting. Starting time is 6:30 p.m. At this meeting, two new board members will be elected. If you haven’t sent in your proxy, you can bring it to the meeting and turn it in.

The Farm has 27 ponds in our community. There are hundreds of homes that border these ponds.

Maintenance of these ponds is a big expense to the community. That is why it is important that all homeowners living on the ponds are aware of the best way to protect the shorelines and the ponds in general.

Different communities have different rules pertaining to their ponds. I know of some where the owners own down to the waterline, and others have a buffer between their property line and the water’s edge. We have the buffer.

Some communities want the grass mowed to the waterline. The question then becomes, what is the best method to protect the shoreline from erosion on the banks?

We went to the experts from Clemson University for the answer. Mowing to the waterline will certainly undercut the structure of the banks.

To protect the shoreline, Clemson has two suggestions. One is to install emergent wetland plants along the shoreline, another is to stabilize the shoreline using rip rap or bulkheads.

The preferred method is wetland plants along the shoreline. This is why The Farm has asked residents not to mow to the shoreline. Allow the natural grasses to grow.

The Farm has our landscaper keep a three-foot buffer zone from the waterline. It is maintained four times a year by our landscaping company.

There are other advantages to shoreline plants. They provide filtering pollutants in runoff, they absorb nutrients that grow algae trapping yard debris, they deter nuisance wildlife, they provide cover and forage for fish and invertebrates, and dampen wind and wave energy.

The more shoreline that erodes into the ponds, the quicker the ponds will have to be dredged. This for 27 ponds will be in the millions of dollars. There is a reserve fund well started for when this occurs, hopefully no time in the near future.

Fountains also cause erosion. If the ripple from the fountain reaches the shoreline, it is taking the soil away. If plants are there, it will slow the erosion process.

For more information on this topic, go to the Clemson website, www.clemson.edu and look for Preventing and Repairing Shoreline Erosion.

The pools are open and the water is starting to warm up a bit. Still too cold for me, but the young residents don't seem to mind it at all.

Security is on site for the weekends on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will start full time on Memorial Day weekend.

If you are having trouble with your key cards for the pool, contact Misty Pace at mistyp@waccamawmanagement.com.

We ask residents not to hold the gate open for other people. Everyone must enter using his or her own key cards. Due to the size of our pools, we have had non-residents entering and using our facilities.

I am always looking for items of interest. Email to ronaldtagliabue@gmail.com. Till next time.

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