Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Water is crucial for us and our plants.  It can be something that we take for granted until we find ourselves in a dry situation.  It has been close to a month since our last rainfall and the dusty ground shows it.  We are blessed to have a seemingly never ending supply from our city tap, but how would we fare if this wasn’t there?  What we are attempting to do with our garden watering is to not have to rely on city water, which has chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals added.  Below are the two ways we are using free water sources other than city water.

The first source is collecting the rain.  We put up rain gutters last summer with the help of a friend and have a barrel set up to collect the runoff.  It is amazing how only 2 tenths of an inch can easily fill up and overflow a 50 gallon barrel.  Since this barrel is up on a hill and a bit further from the garden beds we can hook up a hose and let gravity drain to another barrel we store at the bottom of the hill under our deck and next to a hand pump.  We could also possibly hook up a nozzle and use this to water directly.  It takes a little over a full barrel to water everything, depending on how many plants are up at the time.  We have found though that the plants wilt less and we don’t have to water as much this year as in the past because of the extra mulch we have added to the beds.  But what do we do if it hasn’t rained in a while?
Rain water transfer from upper to lower barrel

Shannon filling watering cans from lower barrel

The second source is a shallow well with a hand pump.  I have PVC hooked up from my pump to flow directly into the barrel.  This makes it handy to store the water and let it warm up so that it is not such a shock on the plants.  Since the water coming out of the ground is about 40 degrees, we try to use it directly on the Cole crops to help retard bolting.  We use water from the barrel on the warm crops if we can.

I need to amend my review on the oasis pump I have been using.  I am definitely a lot happier with it now than when I first started using it.  I called the gentleman who makes the pumps and talked to him about how it was leaking when I tried to pump uphill.  He said it shouldn’t do that and said to send it back and he would exchange it for a new one.  Upon its return, I hooked it up again and this time used pipe tape which eliminated the problem I had with losing prime. I then tested pumping uphill and this time no problem, everything worked as expected!  Be sure to cover it though when not in use because the sun is hard on plastics.  07-03-2012 UPDATE:  This pump is not durable, the handle broke, and suction fails to lift water.  I am now using my cast iron pump again.  I do not recommend this pump, although the concept is nice for raised storage.
Direct hand water pump to storage barrel.
The vertical pipe top is open to pour water in for priming.

There are many in this world that do not have water so readily available as us.  Many have to travel a distance to collect dirty water in a jug for the family from a well. With all this talk about water, I would be remiss if I didn’t mentioned the water we can drink of and never thirst again, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.  That water and life is from our Savior who cares for us.  (John 4:14, 6:35)

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