RE: Storage of Flood Water on Farmland
Edna M Weigel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 20:26:49 -0700
I realize my climate (desert) and soil conditions (well drained
but alkaline and tending to be high in salts) are very different from
what most of you are talking about, but I just had to add my two cents to
Even where I live, many people seem to think the best thing to do
with flood water is to get it onto the downhil neighbor's property as
fast as possible. On the contrary, I try to slow it down as much as
possible so it will soak in. We had approximately an inch of rain in
September (the last trace on September 22) and none so far in October.
Still, most of my garden has received no irrigation this fall and is not
yet showing any water stress. In contrast, the weeds across the fence
have shriveled up and turned dry. Why? Because I deliberately stored
the runoff water of the summer monsoons in the soil of my garden beds.
Where I've not yet been able to trap the runoff (and where my neighbors
haven't even tried) it has dried out much faster. Please note: here in
the desert, "dry" is NOT something to strive for--it happens sooner or
later, no matter what you do. I'm talking about a gentle slope where
the water quickly forms gullies below every new structure and cleared
area if someone doesn't make an effort to slow it down.
I followed what I learned from permaculture literature and added
my own experiments to grow watermelons, beans, pop corn, basil, and
cosmos without any irrigation except for runoff water. I even got a
spaghetti squash that the birds must have planted. Next year, I plan to
expand my rain-watered gardens even further.
Like I say, my problems are different from those many of you
face, but use of rain water is an important part of my garden plan. I
get so little that I treasure what I get.
Best regards, Edna
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