Small Steps to Save Water on the Farm

Drought comes and goes, so what better way to get your farm or garden ready, then by taking some small steps now.  You will already have a water saving style in play if and when you have a dry season, year, or series of years.  Being a zero-waste farm is a great way to think of ways to give things a second chance, be it containers, or water, the main reuse featured here. Thinking in terms of water reuse will become natural when you think of water every time you turn on the hose.

Here is a quick and efficient way to make fruit fly traps.  For those of you in areas like Hawaii, fruit fly trap making is a critical part of most farms.  It is a great way to reuse plastic cups and bottles as well as reuse soapy water from the drain of the hand wash sink.  I use Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soaps at the farm and at home.  Each bar goes a long way and there is a scent for everyone.  Peppermint is a really great one for scrubbing up after stinky jobs like composting fish.  The pure soap make for a great soap water base that is used in the bottom of your fruit fly trap.

DSC_0365

Simply catch the soap water as it comes out of the modified drain pipe, then pour into your homemade fly traps, and insert the appropriate fly bait.  Soapy water is used to keep the flies from climbing back out of the trap. The middle and last images are house/bottle fly traps used to control fly numbers near the compost/fish emulsion station.  All are made using items that were free and needed a new use.

DSC_0369 DSC_0367 Jumbo fly trap near compost

Hot dry weather means flies of all kinds are in peak numbers at the farm. The flies drown quickly in the soapy water, and are then composted. Your fly numbers will be kept in check.

Rinse water is used to rinse many buckets in a “bucket to bucket” reuse before it is reused to make a diluted fertilizer as in my video above, or water seedlings and for rooting cuttings. Plain non-soapy rinse water can also be poured into shallow trays for the birds, bees, toads, and lizards that patrol the farm and help in so many ways.

I challenge you to fill a few buckets as if you are in preparation for the water to be turned off, then see in one day how many ways you can use those few gallons.  You may be surprised how far it will go.  We will all thank you for it.

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