Category Archives: Water

Appreciation for rain

Appreciation for rain – Anthony…

Amongst the things that came out of the Nature Culture Regeneration weekend we attended recently was the idea of verbalising an appreciation as a way of bringing our attention to something special we notice each day.

Today it was easy to find that appreciation- the blessed rain.

In the hottest driest part of the year, when all vegetables are in constant need of water and animals, including the humans on site, all need this precious resource, we can run very low. Very low!

Catch it all...
Catch it all…

The last few weeks have seen us having to be incredibly frugal- using the washing-up water to irrigate the plants in the garden and washing in the pond (though obviously without soap!)

Every last drop...
Every last drop…

Showers have been massively rationed, even though the solar thermal panels have given us plenty of scorching hot water in the cylinder.

As of 7am this morning (Sunday) all of our stores were basically out. Other than the pond, no water but for the small amount a minute or so of pumping from the borehole produced. Then… one drop… two… and then it came down properly and whilst its not quite the same as monsoon season in drier countries, the relief and joy, the smell of water on soil, the feel of it on our skin… well you get the picture!

All our downpipes have been used to fill every receptacle we could find- and when they were full we have set up a gutter run to take the rest into the pond (which has dropped by about 5”).

I would therefore like to voice my appreciation for this precious life giving rain.

Appreciation for rain – Ele

As the gardener at Pentiddy I am acutely aware of our water situation. We have ensured that we can collect whatever falls when it falls so our storage capacity is good but when it doesn’t fall for 3 months things get a little tricky. I have been amazed however at how much easier it’s been with the garden since moving over to a no-dig-system last year. The plants’ need for extra water has been noticeably less. I have only really watered in the polytunnel and on new seedlings. The garlic didn’t swell as I would have liked but everything else has been fine. As we completely ran out I made a point of mulching around the new pea transplants so the water they got when planted wasn’t lost to evaporation in the very hot polytunnel.

Swimming pond 'reservoir'!
Swimming pond ‘reservoir’!

Knowing the pond was there as an emergency reservoir made a huge difference and what a luxury to be able to bathe in deep water during a ‘drought’. Without today’s rain I would have been filling watering cans from the pond for the polytunnel so we still actually had 50m3 (50,000litres) of water available to us but the wildlife in the pond (including the kids) might have had something to say about us draining that!!

Context: Without a mains connection we rely entirely on what we can gather here. Our ‘main’ supply which feeds the house comes from a store collected from the barn roof at the top of the site (currently 4500 litres but another 1500 litre tank being installed soon).

As well as this store we have a range of other tanks collecting rainwater and greywater from the other structures on site, notably the house (3 tanks from various downpipes/outlets totalling 3500 litres). A few other smaller water butts and excluding the pond and what small amount we can pump from the borehole that’s our total available water. About 9000 litres (with the new tank 10500 litres)

Other news…..

It’s been a very quiet couple of months here with our volunteers all off on various courses and adventures. Tim is presently helping our friend Jeremy with his cob building at Velwell and is then continuing on to look at a bit more of the outside world before deciding whether to return. The other 3 return tomorrow and we’re having a couple of concentrated weeks on charcoal making, firewood prep and liming the roundhouse. It’ll be great to have them all back again. It’s then Summer craziness until the new interns start in October. We’ll introduce them to you soon……..

So much to say but even more to do so we’ll leave it there for now.