Monday, June 29, 2009

Water Conservation - Washing the Veggies

I'm going to start a weird topic for my area this week....Water Conservation.
This June has been one of the wettest I can remember. I don't think we've had more than 1 or 2 days where we didn't get at least 1 shower, and most days were completely grey and rainy.
Gardens are waterlogged, Lake Hopatcong is actually full...when on Memorial Day there were many lamenting how empty it still was from the winter lowering.

So, before June, we were in a drought.

And, summer drought has become common in our area in the last 10 years, I've heard announcements about lakes and reservoirs being at record lows frequently. And the building boom of the late 1990s and 2000's has not helped.

I have posted on my garden site about wanting a rain-water capturing system that we just haven't been able to afford yet, so that I don't have to feel nervous about watering our garden from our well. Nor have we been able to find a source for clean used barrels...

We've never had a problem with our well, and as far as I know, no one around us has either.
It's just that when you think about the dryness around, lakes lower, less rainfall in the highlands, etc it makes you take note, so I'm going to blog about conserving water, even after a month with 10+ inches of rain.

We get most of our produce from the biodynamic Community Supported Garden (CSG) at Genesis Farm.
Some of it comes home pretty dirty, and for years I was washing it all under running water.
For the past year or two, though, I've been trying to do as much as I can with less water.
I start by putting the veggies in a big bowl or use the salad spinner and letting it fill half way, scrubbing the veggies using the water from the bowl; setting aside each scrubbed veggie until the dirt is off and I have a bowl of brown muddy water.

Then I use that water to water plants, and get the benefit of all that biodynamic soil, rather than letting it run down the drain along with gallons and gallons of water....
After getting rid of the "mud", I give the veggies a final rinse, now free of most of their dirt, it only takes a slow stream of running water, again captured in the bowl...and use that for the plants too.

There have been times when I've been "too busy" to do it this way, but when I don't capture the wash water and let it run even a little, I feel guilty.

Water is a precious resource.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Music Season 2009

This will be our third year of doing the summer "Music in the Parks" scene.

I have been busy this week making the tour of local town websites to put our calendar together, and the excitement begins this friday night!

In the past two years we have enjoyed dozens of free musical performances...some exquisite and others just average, but under clear skies and with a picnic dinner and fun-bag for the boys all have been wonderful family experiences.
Some towns do outdoor movie nights as well...we saw Madagascar that way last summer....although that was a tad later as it required full-dark to get going. The musical programs usually start around 7.

Some towns don't have their calendars out yet, but some do - enough for us to get started!!!

Look for these programs in your town or nearby towns. They are almost always free (or very inexpensive) and child friendly.