Tag Archives: water

Xeriscape™ Catchy Name – Common Sense

Many parts of the US are suffering from a long running dry spell. It is past time for states, cities, homeowners associations to re-look and reconsider how public areas, business and home landscaping is regulated.

In this old guys opinion the days of large lush green lawns and water hogging landscape plants is no longer a viable plan.

Even if you live in an area that receives adequate rainfall, soil and water conservation should be high on your garden and landscaping plan.

Terms like Xeriscape™ Zeroscape, Permaculture and Sustainable agriculture {Gardens and Landscapes} are popping up everywhere. What they all have in common is getting the most bang for your $buck. They are also nothing new! It is relearning what our parents and grandparents knew from childhood.
In the days before cities and farms had ‘electric’ powered pumps capable of lifting millions of gallons of water from deep underground.

In my childhood living in the country. No one had nice green grass lawns. Front yards were reserved for a few mostly wildflowers, maybe a hollyhock or two and an assortment of native fruit bearing vines, bushes and trees. Many plants, both native and those developed, improved and planted for flowering gardens or for food supply.

When is a weed a wild flower? Well that all depends on which side of the fence your standing on.
When it is growing where you want it to grow and produces a flower that you like seeing it’s a wild flower.
Other wise it’s a weed. Almost all weeds produce wildly colorful flowers and will freely reseed and come back in greater masses next growing season.

Wildflowers will grow and even thrive with little or no attention from you. You need not worry about watering, fertilizing or tilling around them. After all they were a weed before you planted it in your landscape!

Wild Sand Cherry in bloom

Wild Plum mid July

Small native fruiting plants like Sand Cherry and Native American plums are a great addition to your landscape. Many farmers and ranchers consider these plants to be weeds and go to great lengths to kill them out of their fields and pastures.

After their first year or so in your landscape they will need no special care, water or fertilizers to provide a flashy show of flowers in the spring and then a nice crop of fresh fruit in late summer or early fall.

Be a good boy and eat your weeds. Many of the plants we call weeds are edible in salads raw or cooked like Spinach. They are a healthy and free addition to any salad or home cooked meal.

Edible Weeds and Native Plants by Healthy Home Gardening.

Edible Weeds by Landscape-America.com

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Food – Water – Agriculture – Environment

Yes your right. I can’t seem to let this Almond milk thing go. If the reports are accurate and Almond milk contains only 2 percent Almonds. Mmmmmm that means in each 32 ounce(quart) of Almond milk there is less than one(1) ounce of Almonds. What the heck is used to fill the other 31 ounces in a quart of Almond milk?

Not knowing A thing about Almond except it is a nut. I did what any curious guy would do, I googled it.
What I discovered is shocking as well as disturbing.

Blue Diamond said their Almond Breeze beverage is made from an average of over 50 almonds per half gallon. Keep that number (50) in mind.

Business Insider web site said “it requires 1.1 gallons of water to produce one(1) Almond nut. No that is not a typo, 1.1 gallons.

Using this figure means Almond growers used 55 gallons of water to produce the 50 Almonds contained in 1/2 gallon of Almond milk.

Almonds environmentally friendly?
Almonds as sustainable agriculture?
Almond milk healthier than ‘real’ milk?

California’s Central Valley sinking due to groundwater pumping Data shows the ground is sinking nearly two inches per month in some places, putting roads, bridges and canals at risk of damage.

Mark Cowin, head of the California Department of Water Resources. added that groundwater levels are dropping to record lows up to 100 feet below previously measurements.

Just an old fat country boys opinion but if you remove(pump water) 100’s of feet of water from the subsoil structure, why are you acting surprised that the surface soil sinks to fill the void caused by massive water removal?

On your next trip to your supermarket fresh fruit and vegetable area try to keep these number in mind. Look at the fruit and vegetables and know it requires a great amount of irrigation water to feed you and your family.
Here are a few examples:
1 – Orange = 13.8 gallons water
1 – head Broccoli = 4.5 gallons water
1 – Walnut = 4.9 gallons water
1 – Tomato = 3.3 gallons water
1 – Almond = 1.1 gallons water
1 – Strawberry = .4 gallons water

Source: Chart by the guardian
Hint: 1 US gallon = 3.79 liters. 1 kilogram(kg) = 2.2 US pounds.

Typical values for the volume of water required to produce common foodstuffs
Foodstuff Quantity Water consumption, litres
Chocolate 1 kg 17,196
Beef 1 kg 15,415
Sheep Meat 1 kg 10,412
Pork 1 kg 5,988
Butter 1 kg 5,553
Chicken meat 1 kg 4,325
Cheese 1 kg 3,178
Olives 1 kg 3,025
Rice 1 kg 2,497
Cotton 1 @ 250g 2,495
Pasta (dry) 1 kg 1,849
Bread 1 kg 1,608
Pizza 1 unit 1,239
Apple 1 kg 822
Banana 1 kg 790
Potatoes 1 kg 287
Milk 1 x 250ml glass 255
Cabbage 1 kg 237
Tomato 1 kg 214
Egg 1 196
Wine 1 x 250ml glass 109
Beer 1 x 250ml glass 74
Tea 1 x 250 ml cup 27

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Spring Planting Season

Big Smile… Did California Governor Jerry Brown read my blog, Water and your Cash Flow, dated March 30, 2015? Brown ordered officials April 1, 2015 to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in California’s history. (Water) surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snow pack in 65 years of record keeping.

I shot that Chocolate Egg laying Easter Bunny

Maybe not the egg laying bunny, but I put his cousin in my cook pot!
About daylight Tuesday morning I was enjoying the sight of the early birds free loading at my feeder when out of the corner of my good eye I spied 2 fat rabbits munching away on my newly planted grape vines. This is not a good thing..

Being a world renowned great hunter, I dug my handy dandy Crossman .177 pellet rifle out of a closet. Then another 10 minutes finding the place I had put my can of pellets. (you know the place I put them so I would not loose them.) I looked one more time to be sure the rabbit was still in my Tiny Garden, and he/she was. Slowly, carefully I raised the window so I could ambush that grape eating rabbit.
The rest is history. Rabbit stew was on my dinner menu.

chisken pen fence Grandson and Fence building. Not wanting to give you the wrong impression. #1 grandson is good to his old grandpa. He drops by 2 or 3 times a week to visit and to see if I have a job needing done my someone younger and more agile than myself. With that said he does leave a lot to be desired when it comes to fence building.

A couple of years past, I was talking about enlarging my chicken pen. Being the helpful grandson he is, one day while I was away in town, he drove in a few T-post and stood up a fence in the general area I had indicated that I was going to use for my ‘new’ enlarged chicken pen.

I’m pretty sure he never heard of using a straight line to aline the fence post from corner to corned. I have started pulling the old post and relocating them so the pen fence is some what straight. If you don’t tell #1 grandson, I won’t tell him I moved the fence.. :-)

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Water and your Cash Flow

In the west and southwest US a widespread drought have city and state officials struggling to finish large water projects while their populations continue growing. Drinking water resources are dwindling.

The federal government (U.S. tax payers) are responsible for paying about $3 billion to complete several rural water projects around the country. The amount is expected to grow by the time the work is done. This represents a fraction of the more than $600 billion needed to address the nation’s water and waste water processing cost over the next 20 years.

The real truth is cities, counties and states nation wide Are Not taking real tangible actions to conserve treated drinking water.

I have seen estimates that as much as 50 percent of Americas safe drinking water is wasted on watering home and commercial(business) lawns and landscaping. In many cases lawns and landscape plants are over watered and over fertilized. Home and business owners often over use or incorrectly use herbicides and pesticides.

One solution, maybe the best solution is to take a look back to a time when much of America did not have access to government funded, government subsidized water sources.
A time when home owners, renters and business owners relied on native plantings that required little or no water supplied by man.

The terms Zeroscape or Xeroscape™ are nothing more than relearning what our grand parents knew. Drinking Water is a limited and costly resource that is not to wasted.

I suspect that all those people that never lived in the country or in an area that did not have access to city water supplies will continue to use and waste billions of gallons of water until the day arrives when they turn the tap nothing comes out.

The bottom line is the water users, not U.S. taxpayers should and must pay the cost incurred to provide safe drinking water.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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