Capturing water for new plants that don’t really count, September 4, 2014

Author: Heather Hacking @HeatherHacking on Twitter
For some reason I woke up early one day this week. My long-time friends and family will attest that mornings aren’t exactly my thing.

Somehow I get to work at 8 a.m. most days, but only because I can move quickly without coffee and don’t care much about my appearance.
This particular morning the sky was still black when I looked out the bathroom window. Later the smoggy haze of the valley turned an apricot-pink. Even the messy mimosa tree looked soft and delicate in the silhouette.

Before I knew it, I realized I was running late. In reality, it wasn’t really that early. In reality, the days are getting shorter.

This fact is time for pause. Three more Chico Thursday farmers markets. Two more Friday night concerts in the park. Perhaps eight more weekends with the option of camping. One hundred and ten more shopping days until Christmas.

It’s true. As you get older, time really does start to go by more quickly.

Slow food

Last Saturday my sister and I hit the Saturday farmers market in Oroville. We happened to be in town for the Downtown Oroville Riverfront District’s mile-long yard sale along Montgomery Street.

My sister is funny at a farmers market. She doesn’t go that often and is in awe of all the choices.

She’ll noticed the beautiful plums, and next get into a conversation with the man with the gluten-free naan. When I saw her begin to taste the chutney options, I took a quick stroll and returned. She hadn’t noticed my absence.

While wandering I couldn’t help but hear a vendor bellow that cantaloupe were now $1 off and melons were half price.

Farmers market is a place where late-riser occasionally benefit because nobody wants to haul 400 pounds of perfectly ripe melons back to their farm.

We ended up hauling 30 pounds of melons back to the car.

An hour later, after I had pried her hands away from the 75 percent off sale at a beauty salon, the entire car smelled like ripe fruit.

Drought delays

It’s difficult to be brimming with garden enthusiasm when many of the news articles I write are about drought.

My coworker Laura gave me this great tip about putting a container in the sink. When you rinse your hands or wash carrots, the water can be captured.

The water adds up quickly. More importantly, its a reminder of how fast a running faucet spews water.

I’m finding myself turning on the faucet more carefully, so the tap doesn’t gush unnecessary gallons.

The trick is to empty the water often, and have potted plants strategically located near the front door.

More than once I tried to juggle the doorknob while balancing my container, and ended up needing to mop water off the hardwood floor. I’m sure Laura would think mopping up water was an excellent use of recycled water.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best not to buy more plants. What I mean by “my best” is that I have managed not to buy any new outdoor plants.

In my mind indoor plants don’t count. So far I’ve bought three, which were easily divided into six. If I do this right, I can capture water in the sink and pretend like those plants really aren’t using any water at all.

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