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Water Strategies for the Homestead

| 3/18/2016 4:29:00 PM

Last summer we were in extreme drought. We had a significant number of forest fires (the closest one started within 1/2 mile of our property) in the region, wells in the area dried up, and as a result, agricultural production was significantly lower. This blog post will talk about strategies to moderate both drought and flood.

It’s important to have a comprehensive water plan for your property. Most homesteaders are simply dependent on their well, which is predicated on cheap and reliable energy. Don’t misunderstand me: I love being able to flip a switch and get light and turn on a faucet and get water. It’s wonderful! However, we need to develop a resilient water plan that accounts for potential disruption in that system but also to develop other systems to increase the fertility of the land.

Water Principles

Here are some commonly known yet rarely adhered to water principles:

Observe. take notice of your drier, wetter, warmer and colder areas. As the snow melts here in Northern Idaho it is abundantly clear where those different areas are located. We take note of these areas and it aids us in design, types of plants to put in those areas and even specific cultivars. It is very common to find me standing out in the rain watching water flows down to the micro level. I note where water flows, if it soaks in or if it pools up.

Start at the highest point possible. If we can take advantage of gravity in our water systems this is very helpful. Think in terms of this when developing systems and placement of homestead elements like buildings.

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