Friday, February 8, 2013

Wet and wild afternoon

Dark skies at noon

It's been a dry year so far, but today the rain poured down for about an hour or so.  It probably won't do much to improve our precipitation stats, but it was a welcome change from our un-seasonably sunny and warm winter so far.  

I was happy to see it, because we water our vegetable garden with well water. And our well water is extremely high in mineral content, as you can see by residue on the Mason jar I use to heat the water for our coffee every morning.  It's delicious water, but needless to say, we won't be needing any calcium supplements anytime soon.

Mineral Build-up
The cure

So this afternoon, even though it was a cool 46 degrees when it started raining, I ran outside to catch some roof runoff so I could water our raised vegetable beds.  Mineral-rich water is not harmful to drink or even to water your plants with, but if you water with it often enough (as we do through the dry seasons and in winter if there's no rain) those minerals will build-up in the soil and can affect plant growth and production.  Out in the fields, there's not much you can do about this but pray for heavy rains, but with raised garden or vegetable beds you can give them a good wash-out by collecting rainwater and soaking your beds with it.

While I was out there, though, the sky grew extremely dark and the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees...and the rain went from pelting to slushy.  Nonetheless, I stayed at my post, doing bucket duty until all the beds (and I) were thoroughly soaked and my fingers were numb and aching from the cold.  It may seem silly to cry cold when much of the nation is experiencing a blizzard as I write this, but standing outside in the wind and rain, soaking wet, when it's only in the high '30's is cold, believe me. 

But then I had the privilege of coming indoors for my farmer's reward....some hot spiced tea, a good read, and the pellet stove warming me from head to toe and drying my wet clothes. 

All for some rain water.  Precious rain water. Totally worth it.

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