Monday, July 21, 2008
About conserving water....
Hi garden friends!
On my Texas homesteader's Yahoo group, we've been talking about rainwater collection systems. My husband and I had a large catchment system at our old house (gotta find those pics!) that stored 17,000 gallons. We now have city water here in town, but still wanted to collect some rainwater for use in the garden.
We bought two 55-gallon barrels from Eco-Wise in Austin, put metal gutters on the house, and WHEN IT RAINS they fill up fairly rapidly. But after using it on the garden, I realized that we need more, especially in times of drought....like we're in now.
So I've come up with a few ideas for saving water inside the house. Nothing new, really, but maybe a few ideas you haven't thought about.
Here's the thing. Big systems cost money, and you have to have space for the tanks. We don't all have to rush out and spend a fortune on big systems, though. There are little things we can do. I remember my grandmother's garden, and how wonderful it was, and how she ALWAYS saved her dish water and dumped it on there. She didn't have a dishwasher. She had two little plastic pans in the bottom of her sink and washed and rinsed her dishes from those.
So, I saw a cool plastic dish pan thingy at Lowe's, made by Rubbermaid, and it has handles and a stopper in the bottom! I bought one and used it last night when I washed off the cutting board. I caught all the water from that. We had just chopped veggies, so it was OK; wouldn't do it if it was greasy or meat. Husband washed off some peaches this morning, and used it. That was HALF A GALLON of water! You don't think you're using that much until you actually see how much would have gone down the drain.
So, I have the little dishpan thing, and I have two empty gallon milk jugs with a funnel. I collect water, little bit at a time, in those, then when they're full, go dump them on my 'maters, fruit trees and bamboo plant. You'd be amazed at how much water I've collected over the last week, just from rinsing out glasses, old cat water that I used to dump out when getting them fresh, etc. I don't store it in the house, maybe overnight. It pretty much goes outside immediately.
I expect that those of you with critters could collect a TON of "used" water that you could at least use on landscape plants, or fruit trees. So what if the cats or dog or goats slobbered in it? LOL!
Yes, it takes a little more work, but it adds up.
It's like the whole energy thing. People think we need to drill more, add more coal plants, etc. but they never talk about cutting back in the first place, or saving or conserving what we already have. That just gripes me! LOL