One of my green activities is saving rainwater to use on my garden and potted plants. That is kind of hard to do when it isn’t raining. And it generally doesn’t rain in southern California from mid April to October. Except….
I save rainwater that falls from a gutter and downspout into 3 rain barrels hooked in series. They were still pretty full because I tend to use that water mainly to water my compost bins (another “green” activity). So I put this temporary diverter under the downspout to divert the water to a 20-gallon Rubbermaid trash barrel. It filled up pretty fast, so I used a bucket to transfer water from the barrel to an empty one. I did that three times before it stopped raining. I also had four other barrels under dripping eaves, but they didn’t collect as much water.
I was able to save over 100 gallons of unexpected rain from Hurricane Delores on top of what was still in storage from spring rains. I know, it’s just a drop in the bucket. But every bucket helps, considering that we save the water from running the tap to get hot water in the shower. We use that water to flush the low-flow toilet. We are also turning the tap off in the shower while we soap up between getting the initial getting wet and rinsing off. By using these conservation measures, we are able to keep our fruit trees alive and maintain our vegetable beds, all while using a mere 60 gallons per person, per day. Pre-drought average usage was about 120 gallons of water per person, per day, but almost everyone is conserving now. This has reduced average usage in our area to about 80 gallons per person, per day.
But enough of our drought crisis. We still have a great garden. Well, an interesting one anyway.
I planted a row each of Eye of Goat and Little Goat dry beans. Out of those two rows, one bean sprouted. ONE bean. I was going to photograph it, but something ate it before I could get a photo. Bummer.
You’d think that my garden is now in full production. Wrong. (The pathetically tiny harvest above is the sum total of my summer veggie production.) This is the only zucchini from my three big plants, with no female flowers anywhere near ready to fertilize. Then the plants flopped over, effectively smothering the carrots and radishes. VBS. The yellow crookneck squash shows no signs of producing any squash, and one of those two plants up and died for no good reason. We don’t have squash borers (knock on wood).
I got ONE Better Boy tomato and four little yellow pear tomatoes. There are no other tomatoes getting ripe, and hardly any have even set fruit. This is my entire eggplant crop so far. I have a Ping Tung Long and an Ichiban. Neither one have set any fruit other than the tiny one above. So maybe we’re going to starve after all.
I am rapidly going through the rest of the water in the rain barrels, and have emptied at least 8 of them. I still have about 150 gallons remaining. Bring on El Nino!!!
And that is my update.
Harvest for the week ending August 9
12 oz Asian Pear, grafted tree
6 oz limes
2 oz Peach, Garden Gold
subtotal fruit 1 lb 4 oz
2 oz bell pepper
1 oz Eggplant, Ichiban
1 lb 5 oz Garlic (not pictured)
11 oz summer squash, zucchini
4 oz Tomato
subtotal veggies 3 lbs 3 oz
TOTAL HARVEST 4 lbs 7 oz produce plus 11 eggs