HARVESTING RAIN WATER
Living up in the hills and having to conserve water had become a way of life for us at our home.
When we bought this house over forty years ago it was already an very old home and because of the price of drilling water wells which had to be drilled so deep it was years before we got our water well drilled.
The water we had came from a cistern that collected rainwater which flows from the roofs of the house into a downspout which went into a filter and then on into the cistern.
The cistern is made from blocks which are sealed and a concrete top over lays it. The cistern holds about 1800 gallons of water. When the dry weather of summer came along the cistern would go dry and we would have to buy loads of water to fill it which ran about $50.00 dollars a load.That may not sound too steep now but back then it was a lot of money for a growing family. So that is how I learned to conserve water and I still do not waste water even to this day. After we finally got a real water well drilled I thought I was in heaven. Having the cistern hooked up already with a tank and pump in the basement which then pumped it into the kitchen, washroom and bathroom I had them save this all to be used just for the garden. So we had a new tank and pump hooked up from the new well to take care of the house.
All of the cistern water is now used for my gardening and watering the beds in the summer.
When the filter for the cistern which was made of tile cracked I was so disappointed because I hated the loss of all of that rainwater.That is when I decided to get a rain barrel to catch the water in.
My rain barrel has had a rough life so far. LOL!
I hooked up an overflow pipe from the bottom of the rain barrel which runs straight into the cistern.
I hooked up an overflow pipe from the bottom of the rain barrel which runs straight into the cistern through a hole drilled into the lid.
The lid on the cistern has a handle so I can lift it to see how much water is in it.
So this is my way of harvesting water just for my garden, because it would not be clean enough now to drink without the filter but the plants love the rainwater. The hose from the rain barrel is great for filling my watering cans and with a water hose hooked up to a separate tank and pump in the basement I can run the hose to water all of the beds using only the rain water from the cistern.
The only time I use the well water in the garden is when the cistern goes dry in a long dry spell during the summer.
The plants love the warmer water from the cistern and do not like the well water because the well water is too cold since the drilled well is so deep.
I use the top of the cistern for my potting bench and where I work. I also have a great chair there where on a warm summer evening I can set and read and watch the birds at the nearby birdbaths and houses.
I try to compost …..
stop your laughing!!! LOL!
This is my compost bin, an old trash can that the wheel broke off from. In fact I have a couple.
There is drain holes drilled into the bottom and I throw everything into it including my shredded mail. It doesn’t look pretty I know and it is worse when it comes time to try to stir up the composting matter. It is terrible to dig into and square trash cans do not roll too well to stir up the compost. The lid has a way of flying off also and spilling the mess. LOL! Not a good system at all.
I really need to come up with a better way to compost but I have used it for a few years now.
Going Green Gardening
I told him I would love to try their soil amendments and natural fertilizers.
We had a scare here last summer when twelve of our lakes in Ohio got blue green algae in them, which can go toxic and is very harmful to humans and the fish population. The consensus is that it is caused from the unrestrained use of phosphorus fertilizers in farming which gets into the the water table near the lakes.
So anything I can do to keep gardening safer for our state even if it is on a small scale through the use of natural microbes and organic soils amendments I want to try. I am excited to try their products in my gardening. They even have soil penetrators for clay soil and since that is what my soil is made up of I cannot wait to get out and get to working with them and to pass on the results to my fellow gardeners.
These are a few of the things I am doing in my own gardening efforts to help keep a Sustainable Living Keeping Mother Earth Green.
March 15 – April 15, 2011
Join us with our Hostess Jan at “Thanks for Today”
for the “Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project”
and tell us what you are doing to help keep gardening natural or if you will green.
Celebrate Earth Day April 22, 2011.