This morning when I went outside, I heard the most amazing sound…that of water filling our new water catchment tanks! And from only a very light rain at that!
One of our biggest problems since we started growing here has been lack of water. We’re so thankful we had good rains this year, but when it hasn’t rained our well has not been forthcoming. We would usually get about a quarter of our growing area watered before the well ran dry and we’d have to wait for it to fill back up. Not the most efficient way to run a farm.
Originally we thought we’d build a nice big pond as part of our keyline design but we had enough sense, thank God, to ask the NRCS to come out and test sites on the property for pond-worthiness before we started digging. It was a no-go. Too sandy. No wonder the existing pond was eternally dry. (Sigh)
So the next best option? A water catchment system off our two barns – about 6,000 gallons of water-holding beauty.
Actually, now that we’ve got them built, I think everyone should do this regardless of how easily they can access water – be it from the city, well or pond. Because this is water that will not otherwise be used. And we ALL need to conserve water! I won’t go into the reasons why…if you’re curious just Google the “current drought” or “future water supplies.” Don’t do it before you go to bed though if you want to sleep.
In short, if you water flowerbeds, a garden or your lawn (please don’t water your lawn…seriously?) there’s really no reason not to do it with water from your gutters. It will save you money and there are plenty of fashionable, easy to install water catchment systems out there. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, call Green Country Permaculture. They installed ours (and we LOVE them). They also install small systems for urban homes and community gardens with the added benefit of overflow diversion which can be tricky to do yourself.
Ok, I know the last couple of posts have been about water. We will talk about other things, I promise. But this getting water to our plants thing has been at the top of our priority list this season. What can we say, when you’re farming…it’s kind of important.