Today is World Water Day! As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “When the well is Dry, we’ll know the worth of water.” Having lived in southern Africa for over 8 years, I have many friends in the western Cape of South Africa, and I have been following their struggle as they approach Day Zero very closely. It’s no longer an academic prognostication for them – nor for any of us. Day Zero is coming, unless we start taking water issues seriously.
Conserving and saving water is a founding principal of The Meeting Place, and because we’ll be locating our new ‘farm’ off-grid, in the woods – far from a source of running water, spring or well, conserving and storing water is a major concern in our planning for our Kitchen Garden and our Poultry Production. Setting up the infrastructure to simply catch and store rainwater in our forest farm is the key to any success we might have.
70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture (with another 20% used by industry and 10% going to domestic use). The polluted runoff and topsoil erosion that arises with our modern industrial farming methods threatens our water supply, our food production capacity over the long-run, our health and our planet. Our goal at our little forest farm on the edge of the village is to demonstrate that we can, in fact, minimize our water use (reduce), maximize the impact of the water we do use (reuse), and ensure that the water flowing across our plot leaves cleaner than it was when it entered (recycle). This imperative has guided our design in terms of species/variety selection, planting calendar, site planning, and irrigation systems. As a certified Permaculture Designer, I am so excited by today’s global theme “Nature for Water”. The concept of looking to nature for solutions is THE foundation of Permaculture, and the Permaculture ethic upon which The Meeting Place itself was founded!
Gathering the supplies needed to catch, store and maximize infiltration of water, and ensure a consistent, sufficient supply for our crops and our flock represents a significant portion of our project budget. Although we plan to reuse or repurpose food-grade bulk containers for water storage, and readily available, re-useable plumbing and connectors, we need to raise $663 to ensure we are ready to catch and store the abundant rain that falls over central New York during our April showers. If you’d like to celebrate World Water Day in a significant, concrete way today, please consider purchasing a $100 gift card to The Meeting Place, online or at the shop. Our gift cards are redeemable any time, and there is no expiration date. By purchasing a credit for future purchases at The Meeting Place today, you are ensuring we have the funds to build our infrastructure and carefully and efficiently manage our water resources on the farm when we need them most. Thanks so much for your support!