Tag Archives: water

Dry Land Farms And Gardens

Friday, April 18, 2014. Many local water district water managers announced that our local water supply lakes are at or will be at or below 25 percent capacity by the end of April without large strong storm rains falling in our lakes water shed.

dryland-farm1 The national weather service is predicting well below normal rain fall to continue into this Fall, with little hope of improving condition well into October or November.

25 percent capacity lake water levels is the magic number that triggers ‘mandatory’ stage 5 water conservation measures.

What does stage 5 water ration really mean? First for gardeners that means No outdoor water usage. No lawn or garden watering. No filling or refilling of swimming pools, kids pools, water fountains or fish ponds. No at home car washing. No Outdoor Water Usage!

First time offenders are subject to large fines. 2nd time offenders may have their water supply disconnected and additional fines.

Farmers that planted winter wheat back in September 2013 have what should be knee high wheat nearing harvest time is only 3 or 4 inches tall and quickly dieing from lack of rain fall.

dryland-farm2 Last years failed corn and maize crops are causing farmers to re-look / re-think what if anything they will plant this spring.

Stage 5 water rationing has forced me to reconsider what if anything I will plant in my tiny garden this year. I like my farming neighbors in the West and Southwest U.S. may be forced to abandon planting this years crop of cereal grain or vegetable crops.

As our dry spell continues, record numbers of feeder and market ready cows are being seen at local livestock auction barns as ranchers trying to keep only a few of their best cows and heifers to be used in rebuilding their herds when this drought comes to an end.

Beef in supermarkets is at a 27 year high averaging near $6.00 dollars a pound. The same report noted that the total cattle herd in the U.S., the largest beef producer in the world, is at a 63-year low.

It will take ranchers 3 to 5 years after this drought ends to rebuild their herds before we will see any ‘real’ drop in supermarket beef prices.

NEW For 2014 – It’s A Free Forum Service New – Seed Savers / Seed Traders Forum This will not work without your want to trade or give away seed posting or without your want to have seed posting(s).
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First Saturday in May is National Nude Gardening Day It’s good for your health and just a Fun thing to do.

Display your American Flag on May 5, 2014 National Freedom Day

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Drought Conditions Continue As Water Rationing Plans Are Instituted

If you live almost anywhere in the South, Southwest or Western states you know how serious our long running drought has become.

Wells, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes are drying up. Farmers are not planting millions of acres of prime farm lands, vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, vines and trees are dieing. Ranchers are selling off their livestock herds, poultry growers are going out of business because they do not have water, pasture grass or hay to feed their herds or poultry flocks.

Price hikes and limited supplies of berries, fruits, vegetables, beef, pork and poultry will become common in supermarkets this year.
You may find 90 percent of your fresh produce is coming from foreign producers in places like Mexico, Argentina and such.
Even those not directly affected by drought conditions will feel the sting of supermarket price increases.
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Sad to say, but, NOAA and the NWS 6 month long range forecast is calling for little or no rain and higher than normal temperatures during the next 6 months April – October 2014.

freedom-flag Don’t forget to proudly display your American Flag on May 5, 2014 National Freedom Day

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Grandma’s Flower Garden – Water Conservation

hollyhocks1 Grandma’s were conservationists long before there was Serra clubs, the green movement or other such groups.

Grandma’s front yard flower garden was mostly populated by plants that are no longer commonly planted or cultivated. All of them were tough as nails or they didn’t survive in a dry-land flower garden.

On each side of the path to her front door, next to the yard fence gate, Lilac bushes, closer to the front door was Rose of Sharon bushes.

Climbing on her yard fence was several vine type roses and Trumpet(hummingbird vines) vines. The ones often seen growing in old cemeteries. As long as I can remember, she had 3 concord grape vines on each side of her yard supported on 2 wire trellises grandpa put up for her.
The grapes got more attention and water than anything else because they produced fresh table grapes and were made into jelly and jam.

Two sides of her porch were covered with Morning Glory vines for morning flowers and afternoon shade. Hint: Don’t let these things go to seed. They can become a real problem if not kept under controlled.

Along the drip line of the house roof was 4 O’clock bushes. She always had a few patches (beds) of assorted Hollyhocks, Zinnias and Sun flowers to brighten and add color to her front yard. Gras(s) was a four lettered word and was not tolerated in her yard. But in those days no one in the country had lawn grass. That was a city thing.

windmill-water-tank She had a yard broom made from a 1 inch cotton wood sapling with either broom weed or broom corn lashed to it that she used to ‘sweep’ her yard every Friday morning. Just in case she had weekend visitors. I was afraid of her yard broom, it looked like a witches broom to me as a young boy.

Once a week or so she would sprinkle a little water on her flower beds from a bright blue painted water can. Grin, the nearest water was taken out of a livestock water tank behind the house that was filled from the windmill pump. Overflow from this livestock tank is also where she got water for her garden. The same windmill also provided house water from a wooden tank that sat next to the windmill.

Water conservation was not a fad talked about by tree huggers sipping Starbucks $10.00 a cup specialty coffee. All the while sprinkling thousands of gallons of water on their lush green grass lawns. It was a way of life, a way of life that was required to survive on a dry-land farm.
I have spent most of my adult life living on dry-land farms and have for the past 50 years or so I have planted and grown many of the same flowering plants that I knew growing up in the country. Flowering plants that require little or no care or tap water to survive and thrive.

Something to think about this summer, the next time you set your lawn sprinkler or see your automatic lawn watering sprinklers watering your lawn during a rain storm.

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