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Exploring Edible Landscape Designs

Hello, I am Monica Grimbles. I recently tore up all of the grass outside of my home to create a fully edible landscape. The ability to eat all of the plants growing in my garden helps my family's journey to self-sustainability. After all, relying on the supermarket may not always be an option. Even if it is, the food you grow in your yard just tastes and feels so much better. I also like that I do not have to tend the grass to keep the yard green. I change out the plants each year to keep the yard looking fresh and renewed. I will share my plant selections, planting techniques and tools on this site to help others create an edible landscape. I will also discuss all of the ways our professional landscaper helped out with this fun project. Please come back soon.

Exploring Edible Landscape Designs

Considering Rain Catchment? You've Got 3 Great New Reasons To Go For It

by Eugene Jones

Harvesting the free water that falls from the clouds is now a pretty mainstream solution to meet home and business water needs. Most people realize that using rainwater to irrigate landscaping and gardens helps ease the burden on normal water sources, especially in areas where water and rainfall become scarce commodities during certain seasons.

It's also a green thing to do for other reasons. Catching water before it flows into storm drains, and then into creeks and lakes, saves those bodies of water from contamination due to bacteria, herbicides and pesticides carried in runoff.

If you've been considering installing a rain catchment system, one of these 3 developments should inspire you:

1) States and communities are helping pay for rain catchment.

In drought-stricken California, residents are taking advantage of programs that help them pay to install rain catchment systems. There are local initiatives that offer rebates to homeowners who buy rain barrels. Refunds of up to $100 are available for qualifying barrels that are properly installed.

The HERO program helps homeowners finance energy-efficient and water-conserving upgrades, with costs spread over a long lending term via their property taxes.

Check with your state, county and municipality to discover which programs they offer. Local sprinkler installers will also know about incentive programs in your area. If none are available, consider petitioning your local and state governments to offer such programs.

2) Rain storage has gone underground.

Some homeowners are put off by the sight of bulky barrels all over the yard. If you've hesitated to install a rain catchment system because of the way they look, you'll be happy to know you can store your harvested water underground.

One such system, called a rain harvester, uses boulders, plants and separate pools to filter and store collected rainwater. The rain harvester can easily run a sprinkler system, and looks like an attractive water feature when dressed up with a waterfall and landscaping.

You can learn more about various storage systems by attending a class in your area.

3) You may be able to use rain catchment for other issues.

People use their rain catchment for all sorts of water needs besides landscaping. Some use it for flush toilets and vehicle washing. Filtered, it can provide water for livestock and showers. It may even be possible to integrate rain catchment with an indoor fire sprinkler system.

Consider recovering air conditioning unit condensation, as this man did. Your shed, garage or other outbuilding can also be used to harvest the rain.

To set up a more elaborate sprinkler or drip irrigation system, contact a landscape irrigation contractor, such as Steeplechase.

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