Growing with grey water

“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time:

How much is enough?”

Wendell Berry


Waste not want not my old Mum used to say. That’s probably why I have a Bricoleur’s use it or lose it approach to life. I also look for ways to avoid or automate chores to free up time for the things in life I really enjoy. We eat plants mostly and so we have a large vegetable garden with a number of fruit trees.  Every night we used to spend about 30 to 60 minutes watering the garden. That’s 820 thousand hours over an average lifetime. Now we just wash the dishes or take a shower instead.

Thanks to an ingenious system of hoses the water we use in the shower, the basin or the kitchen sink is sprinkled over the garden and its easy to unhook if we need to. Say we were showering to remove something we’d rather didn’t go into our food we’d disable the grey water system.

This is good for the environment, good for the garden and good for us, but hoses can be expensive to buy. There is no way that I have found to get hoses for free unless you are going freeloader hard core in which case you can get them a night from any public garden. If stealing is not your thing then console yourself. Buying hoses is justified for the life saving alone.

One thought on “Growing with grey water

  1. Two notes to this post.

    1. We use a plant based biodegradable dish-washing liquid in our kitchen sink. If you are using the standard chemical concoction it would be advisable not to put that into your food.
    2. Our washing machine is not part of the grey water system. Clothes can leech dye and other things that don’t need to be part of your soil ecology.

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