And so the north Georgia drought continues. Yesterday was hellish – rolling clouds of smoke streamed down from Rabun county, where some houses were being evacuated, and from areas of South and North Carolina. From my neighbors, who are weather hardened house builders, I heard hacking coughs and mine joined theirs as I pruned my trees. And rain not in sight and maybe none until next spring.
My house is on a well and I could pump water for irrigation but this depletes my well (and probably my neighbors too) and though dry, dry conditions are bad, nothing is as bad as a house without water.
So I decided to enlist my pickup. Already it has begun making the trips to and from Atlanta to relocate my neighbors’ leaf bags to my compost heap. Why not bring some water as well? There are not yet watering restrictions in Atlanta and our Atlanta house has an irrigation meter which I installed years ago and from which we draw about 4 gallons a month for the bird bath. So time to use the irrigation meter again.
I recommissioned my 35 gallon horizontal storage tank from compost tea maker to water carrier. A gallon of water weights 8.3 lbs so this tank full will weigh about 300 lbs. And if it slides around the truck bed it can do some damage. I fashioned from 2×4’s a brace to hold it in place in the center of the bed up against the cab. I decided to add 2×5 gallon containers on the right side of the bed so that their weight (10 gallons x 8.3lbs per gallon = 83 lbs) plus Trudy’s (my 46lb canine companion) will somewhat counterbalance my weight in the driver’s seat. And so I now transport 45 gallons of water to my logcabin, plus 7 leaf bags with each trip.
The 2 -5 gallon water containers I transport in a barrow to the orchard and upend each at a fruit tree. Not much, I agree but better than nothing for trees which have not savored water for several months. The fruit trees are surviving and I attribute this to the contour ditches which straddle the hill and infiltrate the rainwater runoff and heavy mulching.
The 35 gallons of water I pour into a storage tank from which I can pump to the vegetable garden or wherever it is most needed. From watering the vegetable garden > 100 gals every day I am down to 40 gals every 3 days although of course the summer heat is past and evaporation and transpiration are also greatly reduced. I have cut back on plantings and if there is any consolation for this unusual weather, at least I am getting good tasting organic tomatoes and peppers and lots of greens in the middle of November.