Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous. From the June 2015 New Yorker Magazine article by Bill McKibben Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating … Continue reading Power to the People

Beautiful, hard-working Rain Gardens

The following is a blog post from The Holistic Garden blog by Barb Allen: Last fall we built a rain garden that collects rainwater that runs from the roof and driveway. Normally this water would have run down the slope behind the house into a creek and off the property. Now it fills up the rain garden and soaks into the ground in a few hours, replenishing the groundwater that feeds our well. In the midst of a serious drought that’s pretty comforting. It worked so well, we’re creating mini-rain gardens and swales all over the property now to slow down the flow and allow it to soak into the soil. I have a half acre of garden that I water through the dry summer months, so it would be hard to store enough water in a cistern or in plastic tanks to take care of 4 – 5 months of watering. And the house is down slope from the garden so I couldn’t figure out a way to collect it in tanks and get it uphill to the garden. I chewed on that problem for a couple years. Then, in the process of looking for answers online, I ran across the concept of “rain gardens”, and the fact that they hold water, allowing it to soak into the soil and replenish the groundwater. Around the same time I came across a story by Geoffrey Lawton of Permaculture fame, about a property where they put in a series of swales running down a slope. After a couple years of collecting rainwater in the swales, a spring popped out on the hillside! Suddenly the idea of saving rain water in the GROUND seemed like the simplest and most natural solution!