Is it raining where you are? Here’s the No. 1 reason you should get outside now!
Those of you who know me know I love to play outside in the rain … barefoot, preferably. 😉
But there’s another reason rain draws me outside.
Beyond just irrigation, rainstorms serve another incredibly valuable purpose on the homestead: They show you where the water flows on your property—and where you might be having some problems.
You May Also Enjoy:
“11 Irrigation Techniques for a Happy Garden”
“7 Keys to Good Water Management in the Organic Garden”
In this edition of “Homesteading Basics,” watch as I walk my property during a storm (after making sure all the hatches were battened down first, of course!) and glean some really valuable information—from clogged gutters to the best natural location for a new pond.
You’ll also see a little part of my property that’s almost magical. When my kids were young, we built a gabion with rocks and chicken wire to help slow the flow of water in an eroded spot. We never did anything else to that area, but we still had something pretty cool happen there. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you watch the video.
What Do You Think?
I’d love to know: What’s your favorite way to slow the flow of water on your property? Share your tips in the comments!
This is an updated version of post that was originally published on February 9, 2018.
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Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.
Hello Marjory, I would like to see videos on what to do with property that I can only visit once or twice a month. I just purchased a property, it is wooded. I want to remove some trees and plant fruit and nut trees and berry bushes and some root crops. A few years from now, I may live there part time and have a vegetable garden, but for now its long turn (trees, bushes). It is only 1.5 acres but is all I could afford within a reasonable drive from where I live now and my kids live.
You need to get yourself a bogie board 36dia. circle throw it on top of the water you run and jump on it – little off center and ride it .
Our property is over an aquifer so we have a lot of wet areas. Just a week after our 8 year old grandson had told me where to put what for a playground for he and his sisters, we had a heavy rain. The rain showed exactly where the new pond should be. Connor said we needed a water feature so when the kids get hungry, they can just grab some fresh veggies (carrots and green beans) from the garden and rinse them off in fountain before eating. Smart kid!
Marjorie, I just love your enthusiasm and your down-to-earth practical tips. And I think it is just great that it would even occur to you to talk about this & to go ~play~ in the rain! Last year I decided to spend a month without riding in any fossil-fuel vehicles and so I had to walk in a few storms. . . and it was Beautiful and Awesome. Now I do it intentionally. 🙂
Wow, going for a month without fossil fuel power. SO interesting. I think we gotta have fun whenever we can.
Ooh! I did this a couple of years ago when we planted fruit trees. I made a rain map. It was really helpful for determining which trees would go where, and to see which parts of my property acted as water reservoirs between rains. I should really go out and do it again to see if anything has changed.
I really like the way you paid attention to what was happening with rain and water flow. In Australia, we have a very dry continent mostly, and nowadays, farmers are laying logs across creeks to slow water, creating natural ponds this way so rain can sink deeper into the soil, and using all sorts of weed material slashed before seeding to help ponds regenerate with aquatic life, and to filter and clean water and provide habitat for birds to
exist on properties that have been cleared of trees in those over enthusiastic days when trees weren’t valued.
There’s a great book by Peter Andrews called ‘Back from the Brink’ about what he discovered and how to create agreater soakage and regenerate land. It’s an awesome read, and tells how observing can really create magic.
Love this! My family used to think I was nuts for playing in the rain.
If someone were investigating the possibility of “Homesteading” ( probably a major lifestyle change), where would he begin: Look for land to buy? How much? What location ( near a spring? running water? wooded area…)? My “Medicine Man” kit arrived today so, if I get good at that, maybe I’ll take the next step, whatever that is… 🙂
I was just contemplating the very same questions today myself. I see you never received any replies and you asked in July last year. Now I am wondering if you ever pursued on your own and found your own answers. My husband and I are itching to move out in the country more and get away from nosy neighbors, neighborhood codes, etc. We have large lots in a rural area but are still limited to what we can do. I miss our expansive gardens, herbs, flowers, etc. This site is brimming with info and kits; I want to start implementing more of it. But where to find a homestead? or affordable land?
Playing in the rain is so invigorating. I got permission to plant in the strip between the road and fence across the street. Now that the rainy season has started, I’m watching how the water flows and arranging rocks to divert it from going to the street.
oh yes! creating little mini dams to direct water. So fun huh? We did it as kids… why not now? We gotta have fun whenever we can. For sanitys sake…
There is another important feature for playing in the rain; the health benefits from the negative ions created by moving water. Here is a link to the benefits of playing in the rain. https://www.motivationalliance.org/play-in-the-rain-for-better-health/#:~:text=Negative%20ions%20are%20generated%20in,are%20charged%2C%20they%20are%20mobile.
I love the rain and wished it rained more where I live. We have a good growing season but have to water plants a lot.
That might be fun if it was more than 43 degrees out and had not been raining for almost four months with barely any sunny days. If it gets much colder at night it will soon turn from rain to that “white stuff.”