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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gratitude for Rain

National Novel Writing Month is officially half-way through, which means I should be at 25,000 words... Sadly, I'm not, but I am doing pretty well at 18,354 words! It's definitely more words of fiction than I've written in the last two years combined! So now you might be able to guess why I've been absent from the blog since November began, and likely between now and December 1, I'll be spending all of my non-work typing time trying to crank out enough words to reach 50,000 before the month ends. You can learn more about NaNoWriMo here and read my author page on the site here.

Despite knowing that I should be typing words on my novel right now, I wanted to share a quick story about how I've been able to go more than a week without turning on the tap specifically for watering the garden. I also want to share some photos of the garden.

It rained last Sunday, giving my plants a happy dose of water straight from the natural source. It's only rained a few times since we moved to this house, but we had noticed that water comes gushing off the corner of the roof near our bedroom window when it rains. Thinking it was a huge waste for that water to just go plummeting into the ground in one spot when it could instead be dispersed throughout the garden to water some plants, I stuck a bucket under the falling water and was able to obtain a whole bucket-full. I stuck some empty jars under there, too, and got even more rainwater. It didn't look like the most pure water (it was actually kind of soapy looking for some reason), so I decided only to use that water on non-edible plants in the garden later that week when the soil dried.

My other main source of water this past week for the garden was from the shower. A couple months ago, we began collecting water in the shower while we wait for it to heat up (we can't quite make the switch to just jumping into the cold water... especially in these cold weather months). Instead of wasting that water, I pour that water into my watering can and water the garden with it. Most weeks when there isn't rain, I have to supplement the bucket with about another bucket full of water from the kitchen sink. I know that we should also really be collecting the soapy water from while we're showering and use that to flush the toilet. We haven't quite gotten to that step yet, but we probably will soon.

One other way that I repurpose water is by saving the water that's used to cook vegetables and pasta, so long as there isn't salt in it. This past week, I saved the water from green beans, for instance. You have to let the water cool before you can use it on the plants. I have a pitcher on my kitchen counter where all of that extra water goes.

Between the rainy day, two buckets of water, the veggie water, and a couple random jars of rainwater, I didn't have to turn on the tap specifically for the garden this week. And this morning, Mother Nature gave me a break from my watering duties and watered the garden for me! I am loving this rainy weather we're finally getting. I'm praying that we continue to get the water we need but that El Niño doesn't wreak too much havoc...

Here are some photos of the windowsill and the backyard garden. To see even more photos, scroll through this album on Facebook (you don't need to have a Facebook account to view). You can click on the images below for a larger view.
 Arugula
 Arugula
 Cilantro
 Tomatoes
 Either kale or arugula--I can't remember what I planted!
  Either kale or arugula--I can't remember what I planted!
 A new chard plant from my grandmother, who visited yesterday with my dad and step-mom. We had such a great time spending the evening with them and enjoying a meal of delicious grilled veggies and salmon. Thank you for the plant, Nanny!
 Baby cilantro seedlings in the jalapeño pepper pot
 Tomatoes, basil, and baby cilantro seedlings
You can see where the rain danced on this succulent's leaves! 

Okay, time to get back to writing my novel. My goal is to try and get as close to 25,000 words as possible today. I wish I could count the words in this blog post as part of my word count!

Happy Sunday, and thanks for reading!
Green Gal

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