The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Stocking up on water

Filling up the thousand gallon tankIt's been a beautiful week of spring, with temperatures above freezing and highs in the low fifties, but winter is returning this week. 

Until finishing our water line moves its way to the top of our list, we've instated a new rule --- fill the thousand gallon tank as soon as it empties halfway.  This is harder than it sounds since there are usually only a few days a winter month when the ground is thawed enough to pump water and the creek is clean instead of flooded brown.  We got lucky and stocked up on Sunday.

Meanwhile, I've doubled the number of milk jugs of drinking water we keep on hand --- now we've got twenty eight gallons.  We should be okay on both drinking and washing water for at least two or three weeks regardless of flood, freeze, or lack of electricity.

Want to give your chickens clean water?  Check out our poop-free chicken waterer.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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No well? You pump from the creek?
Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 14:16:15 2010

We pump our wash water from the creek and our drinking water from a well. We probably could get both from the well at this time of year, but in the summer the well will go dry if we use it for irrigation, washing, etc. So we're frugal with the cleaner water.

Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 14:17:06 2010

We can't do such things on this side of the Rockies - crazy water rights laws. I can hold 1 water acre at a time on my land by right. Get this, only last year did we get the right in this state to gather run off from rooves for irrigation!

Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 14:30:38 2010
Lack of water is very rarely a sustained problem around here. I remember reading about the roof-rainwater-collection issue and being amazed. Actually, water rights are very muddy around here period. There's just so much of it to go around that it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 14:32:45 2010

Oh we have water - it's just that places down the Colorado river have historical rights to it. It's a whole different world on this side of the Continental Divide...

Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 14:35:54 2010

Anna, you used the word "spring" and I am indeed jealous :) I was just thinking that we still have about 3-4 months of winter, okay maybe 2, but it often snows in May, though it melts quickly. How does the quote go, "10 months of winter and 2 months of poor sledding". You must have a great climate there, especially if your big water tank does not freeze.

I laughed at your comment on the other post about Mark appeasing your with mulch. Now there's a wise man.

I always thought grain would be neat to grow as well. Here in Alberta, we are known for our "hard" wheat or the wheat they use in bread flour as well as oats and canola which is a beautiful sea of yellow blossoms, and it smells pretty nice too. Making your own chicken feed is a really good idea. I am sure it will all work out well.


Comment by Heather Mon Jan 25 16:38:29 2010

Well, we won't see real signs of spring until March, and our frost free date is in May, but I take spring where I can get it. :-) Our whole winter is a series of freezes and thaws, which is actually quite nice --- you get sick of the mud and you get cold; you get sick of the cold and you get mud. :-)

Mark's got me all figured out on the mulch front. :-)

I'll be curious to hear if you try out any grains!

Comment by anna Mon Jan 25 17:56:23 2010

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