From the Publisher
After the flood
by Chris Klein
other Nature likes to share. Normally, I love the rain,
and last month's showers were a welcome gift. But the sharing was a bit
too intense when Mother discovered a way to put about half an inch of the
precious fluid in my office at home. My office is below grade, and it appears
that the original builder didn't see fit to seal the cement block wall.
Understandable, I guess, living here in the desert.
I pulled the soaking, moldy carpet out of the office
and stacked it in the driveway, figuring I'd haul it off to the landfill
when things got a little dryer. Two days later, the big rolls of carpet
were gone! I guess someone has a plan that involves wet, smelly textiles.
Who says we don't have curbside recycling?
So now, some hundreds of dollars later, I have a wonderful
little drainage system, shunting the fresh water away from my (now sealed)
office. As it continues to pour, I watch a pleasant little stream of rainwater
pour out of a plastic pipe and down the hill. Better than under my file
cabinet, but somehow not satisfying.
I've been fantasizing for some years now about installing
a "gray water" system. If you don't know, it's a system that shunts
relatively clean "used" water from the house (i.e., shower and
clothes washer) into a cistern that can be used to water the yard. They
were illegal in the state (what else is new?), but I've been told that's
Now that I've got another little water source, it just
may push me over the edge into action. If you've had any experience with
such systems, write or give me a call.
learn at least as much from this paper as most readers
(no, I don't know it all). I must admit that the constant flow of information
about the environmental and health benefits of organic agriculture have
had an effect. I don't exactly know what's sprayed on my vegetables, and
I'm not positive about what their long-term health impacts are. But the
evidence is compelling, and why take a chance?
So last month, we took action. Now, each Wednesday,
I drive to my local dropoff site and pick up a box of freshly-picked organic
produce from Be Wise Ranch, an organic farm in North County run by Bill
Brammer (featured in the April '94 issue of ET). About 20 percent of his
crop is distributed locally through this program. There are a variety of
plans and prices available; the "standard" box is just about right
for Carolyn and myself.
But the best part is ... every Wednesday is like Christmas!
You never know exactly what you'll find in the box, although there are some
staples. Our favorite is the crisp salad mix that contains about six different
greens; you can't get this at Vons. The tomatoes remind you of what tomatoes
are supposed to taste like. We've also been getting broccoli, cauliflower,
peppers of various hues, avocados, limes, turnips, squash, zucchini, ...
all winter seasonal crops.
Getting fresh local produce puts you a little more in
touch with the land, with the seasons. It reminds me of a time when you
couldn't get strawberries from New Zealand ... you just had to wait. So
I anxiously await summer ... and fresh strawberries.