Last night TTJ hosted its June meeting, inviting Tom Baribault and Ann Gnagey as presenters. The local homesteaders talked about collecting rainwater as a way to preserve groundwater, a vital resource. Groundwater is roughly only 29% of all freshwater, and freshwater is only about 3% of the world's total water (most of it's in oceans). So saving groundwater is key!
Tom talked about the three components of collecting, storing and distributing saved water. Showed us pics of his own tandem barrel system, using old maple containers, saying one inch of rainfall leads to 700 barrels of water. On their land they have pipes installed to collect surface water, holding it in makeshift reservoirs. They also have pond catchment systems. For storage they use plastic totes, discards from wine storage.
Tom and Ann began their water awareness/saving journey in 1996, when their wells were deemed radioactive (not from radon which can be evaporated out, but uranium) Back then they dug a spring for drinking water. These days they said, that same spring takes longer and longer to refill after the winter, not boding well for the state of our groundwater.
Ann also talked about the carbon cycle, specifically how soil is such an important pool for carbon, preventing more of it going into the atmosphere, and how composting is so vital for building the soil. She touched upon 'humanure' and how they've implemented that in their homestead.
Did you know the precursor to the modern toilet was called a 'dry earth closet' developed in the 1850s by a minister, Henry Moule. He thought the other option, water closets (beloved by the Queen of England!) an abomination, saying they pollute our waters and don't put nutrients from human waste back into the soil. Thus, today's toilette...really makes you wonder about the so-called advanced society we live in.
Well, thanks Tom and Ann, you two are truly an inspiration to the rest of us local dwellers!