Saw a version of this in the New Mexican a couple of weeks ago but passing it on via Keith D Johnson who publishes the ever-awesome Permaculture Activist Magazine. As we look to broaden and diversify our water portfolios, we need to look to the sky, too, especially since we seem to be drying up what's under our feet.
That 70's margarine ad almost got it right, but "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature," really boils down to "It's not smart to try to take advantage of Mother Nature and then ignore her at your big party." Is Cyclone Sandy trying to tell us this? In four presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate, the term "climate change" was brought up in only one: the third-party debate moderated by Larry King.
Here's a precipitation-collection tank, or cistern, that's patially burried and hidden by a raised planter bed and a combination of beautiful and edible plants. The easiest way to see where the cistern is in this photo is to look for a brown downspout that elbows from the right post of the portal. That goes into a 650 gallon cistern from which water is pumped and distributed through the backyard with a hose. I took this shot at our a client's residence around this time of year several years ago. One of the reasons to go this route when installing a cistern is to save money on exacavation, but don't forget to figure in the cost of the wood and labor involved in the screening with the landscape timbers that make up the raised bed. You will also be limited to plants that sprawl and cover ground even with root systems that get shrunk by the tank which is only 4" to 12" below the ground.
Some people are so proud of their cisterns that they like to show them off, but most people prefer to screen their rainwater tanks from view. You can hide them with trees and shrubs. You can erect a fence and then train vines up the fence. If you are Plants of the Southwest (one of my favorite plant nurseries in the world), you get a local artist to paint a lovely vignette of wild ruminants in a Hopi-painting style that celebrates the act of water harvesting.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 17 (AFTER MIDNIGHT), HARVEST THE RAIN IS AVAILABLE! Nate releases Harvest the Rain: How to Enrich Your Life by Seeing Every Storm as a Resource.
I tried to find my recent article in the 2011 Sustainable Santa Fe Guide (about the blessings of bike commuting), but it’s not online yet. Here’s last year’s article in the same annual magazine published by the wonderful youth and staff at Earth Care International.
On the third day (a wonderfully wet Sunday Morning), the Lafayette Bookstore (the bookstore at the conference) graciously let me sign books. One might think a 100-person line at a signing would be impossible for a new author like me, but in fact it actually happened! The catch was that the line was made up of early birds waiting for Jane Goodall.
Oddly, it wasn’t at all surreal to have one of the environmental movement’s founding mothers scheduled to sign books right after me. All of us in the movement seem to be doing the best we can do given our lots and talents. Sure, she’s borderline godhead, but so are YOU! (And she’d probably be the first to admit this.) Plus, when all was said and done, I noticed stacks of Goodall books that were NOT purchased, whereas we came a mere two books shy of selling out of Harvest the Rain.
*from “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens
Woke up this morning and found two flat tires on the bike I’m borrowing for the conference. The tires had been losing air slowly, but after last night’s goat head attack, the situation was grim. I pumped up the tires got dressed, shaved, called the family, responded to some emails, loaded my computer, bike pump, and books into my back pack, and strapped on my helmet. When I grabbed the bike, I immediately discovered that both tires were miserably soft.
I must have been about seven years old when my Gramma Adams got together with some friends and they stopped the construction of an interstate highway that would have run across the west side of Connecticut, through Massachusetts, and all the way up to Burlington, Vermont and beyond. The death of the Super 7 project was a great political victory, and I think I’ve been an avid and positively focused environmentalist ever since.