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I have 5 acres no water I would like to grow some food any ideas or links?

 
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Thank you for your advice. I am looking for something that i can do every spring, or fall, and doesnt require major construction options.  Im 70,  broken and frugal, lol.  


I carry all water to my place.  I now only have two 50 gallon drums to cary water here.  I have one purple flowering plumb that i water only 2 times usually in the summer, sometimes more.  Usually the wind comes before it can promote the pollination.   So i dont get many plumes.

I would like to grow some food, but even just trying to keep one flowering plant alive, i have failed.  Working 60 miles away i could only bring water on the weekends. Now retired i can bring more water here.  Now i generally just get it in 1 gallon jugs, in my car.  My truck is old, i only use it in the winter now and to water the tree.  Although with the virus i use it to get pick ups from mail and food as they just set it in the bed.

ok, I dont have a lot of resources, so any ideas on the cheap? I have looked at some of the suggestions on the net, putting a bag of dirt in a tub, things like that, but they say they can get mold.  Im allergic to mold. lol.  ok well i hope this is in the correct place. thank you for any info.
 
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you are talking about wind, so i think it probably would help more to know what kind of climate, soils, and region you're dealing with. Plus what you would prefer! You have a lot of space to try different things! Then maybe people can recommend what you might plant in your area without irrigation.
 
Itybt Fox
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Tereza Okava wrote:you are talking about wind, so i think it probably would help more to know what kind of climate, soils, and region you're dealing with. Plus what you would prefer! You have a lot of space to try different things! Then maybe people can recommend what you might plant in your area without irrigation.



Thank you, yes.

High plains desert of southern idaho.   below 0 winter and high 110 summers end of july and start of august.  what do i want to plant? vegetable that i can sustain.  I have no shade.   Just full sun.  I do have some shade space under the tree.   The tree is in the north, my tiny house is just about 12 feet west of the tree, long side facing south.  what else?     I love tomatoes and pumpkins.  Both need water.  I used to grow large gardens when i lived in boise and had a well and a creek and pond on my land.   I grew corn yellow and blue corn the Hopi gave me for starters.  I also grew beans and carrots. oh carrots and celery!  hmm would love to grow carrots and celery first.

 
Tereza Okava
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We've got some people here in similar dry and windy places, hopefully someone can give you some good ideas about planting in structures that can help hold water in when you add it. Maybe water catchment/storage too, for when there is rain.
Do you have any organic matter that can act as mulch and hold in the water when you water the plants? Access to moldy hay or some sort of shredded brush from neighbors, stable waste, tree leaves, etc? The more of that stuff you have, the longer your water lasts.
 
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I am thinking a small high tunnel... maybe 6 x 8 feet.  It would allow for a couple of raised beds and wind protection. It would also reduce water loss ( I have had it "rain" inside my high tunnel).   I would aim for a crop in early spring and fall.   I am sure you will get lots of ideas.
 
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Junk.

Like, anything that isn't toxic, that you can grab for free or better yet get paid to haul away.

Start making some shade and windbreaks.


Would earthworks be better? Ya, if you can find a way to do them for free!
 
Itybt Fox
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Tereza Okava wrote:We've got some people here in similar dry and windy places, hopefully someone can give you some good ideas about planting in structures that can help hold water in when you add it. Maybe water catchment/storage too, for when there is rain.
Do you have any organic matter that can act as mulch and hold in the water when you water the plants? Access to moldy hay or some sort of shredded brush from neighbors, stable waste, tree leaves, etc? The more of that stuff you have, the longer your water lasts.



hmm, i do have mulch, just have to dig it up.  Its compacted at the edge of the pasture from when i had horses, its mostly alfalfa, weeds, and then some manure, its old.  Havent had horses in 5 years? cant rem.   I also have straw, some very old bales, i used as insulation around the tiny house.  I also have some year old straw i use to layer on the fenced compost pile.  I do not use the compost for gardening. I can use the straw or get more.

I have torn up all boxes that come hear and stacked them under the tree, about 2 inches, now but its not breaking down as fast as i had thought.  I have about 12 inches of boxes opened and stacked to use around the tree, but i can use for plants too.   I also have cats, and use wood pellets for litter, i end up with urine soaked pellets in the tray below the unexpanded pellets above.   Usually i bag them and they go to the dump, however i can scoop them off the liner pad and use for plant compost too.    

I have 6 foot cyclone fence panels as fencing around the tiny house area.   It is movable and can be refigured depending on my needs.  I used to have a stalker, and so i encircled for privacy.  He used to stand by my open window and listen at night!  never found out who it was. he left tacks in the snow too, but the police never told me who it was.  When i called them no one new about it? what?  yeah.

sorry i digress lol.

what else?
 
Itybt Fox
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John F Dean wrote:I am thinking a small high tunnel... maybe 6 x 8 feet.  It would allow for a couple of raised beds and wind protection. It would also reduce water loss ( I have had it "rain" inside my high tunnel).   I would aim for a crop in early spring and fall.   I am sure you will get lots of ideas.



tunnels?  i think i understand..  6 wide, 8 deep?  I actually have something that i might be able to work on, its the test hole for the septic system that i dont have, lol.  I put some dirt back into it and then stopped, thinking some day i would have to dig it out again.   its pretty deep, i dont think 8 feet down though and now its full of brambly things, etc. but i could work digging it out again and then id have to slope one end the top end to walk down into it?

Do you put covers on them?  or leave them open?  er tops, i guess, and do they get enough sun?  wouldnt they get shade most the day? ok so i need to research this, thank you very much.
 
Itybt Fox
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D Nikolls wrote:Junk.

Like, anything that isn't toxic, that you can grab for free or better yet get paid to haul away.

Start making some shade and windbreaks.


Would earthworks be better? Ya, if you can find a way to do them for free!



Yes, however i am too old to move the material needed to create those dirt/lumber/whaterver/ windbreaks.  Im not lift more than 5 pounds, lol too funny.   I had thought to hire a dozer and have them just dig up dirt and move it into tall piles around me, creating shelter.  I have not priced that out, but yes would be nice.  I dont know how tall or the appropriate places to put them.  I do have a dump load of river rocks from a belly truck?  they gave them to me for just the cost of the gas, they wanted to get rid of them.  My land is pretty much rock free, the is a little lava here and there, but not like in some areas where its solid.  and they are small pieces.

I can get laval rock delivered, i have some broken road i got for free too, was going to use as the foundation for my straw bale barn. never got finished,  Id build the walls up go to work and come home to find them on the ground.  i gave up , i believe someone was knocking them over when i was gone.  They were stacked and ready for the mud.    My neighbors were not friendly and even stole my out building while i was at work one day, they left the roof for another day and took all the walls. it was a metal building from a kit? 16 x i dont rem now, quit large.   nice, sorry i digress again!

I cant build a pond, there isnt enough rainfall here for one.  I have some rights to irrigate 1/4 acre but it requires a well, which is 20k i dont have.   The water was supposed to be only 50 feet down and 100 for cleaner, but when it came time to put it in its 300 ft down.  so .. yeah.  

 
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If this was my property, I would look at what is already growing there.  That is what I have done with our current property.

What is edible that could be cultivated?

This list:

https://idahonativeplants.org/boise-area-native-plants/

I am not familiar with these plants though it has serviceberry, chokecherry, Oregon grape, squaw apple, golden currant, and several others that might be edible.

Also look for drought-resistant perennial vegetables.
 
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Since it's dry, I don't think mold is going to be a problem. I watched a video yesterday where people used rocks as mulch to help provide shade and reduce erosion from wind. Just dotting the ground with whatever rocks are small enough for you to move, or making rows of rocks around the tree, perpendicular to the sunlight, or perpendicular to the wind, might help a bit. If there is enough moisture in the air, the rocks will collect dew at night. You could build a little wall of rocks around a small area to use as a garden. You could maybe excavate a pit to garden in, but I think that would be too physically difficult. Asphalt is a bit toxic I think, so I would use the other stones first.
 
Itybt Fox
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Sarah Koster wrote:Since it's dry, I don't think mold is going to be a problem. I watched a video yesterday where people used rocks as mulch to help provide shade and reduce erosion from wind. Just dotting the ground with whatever rocks are small enough for you to move, or making rows of rocks around the tree, perpendicular to the sunlight, or perpendicular to the wind, might help a bit. If there is enough moisture in the air, the rocks will collect dew at night. You could build a little wall of rocks around a small area to use as a garden. You could maybe excavate a pit to garden in, but I think that would be too physically difficult. Asphalt is a bit toxic I think, so I would use the other stones first.



Thank you, i do have those rocks, some are pretty big, some i can move.  I can pull them with my car or truck too.  I have a dog that might be able to pull some for me.. although i doubt it, lol.  When he dumped the rocks he moved forward so they are in a long line.  Many of the larger ones are on top, lol.  The snakes live in them now.  I had wanted to make a dry river bed down the side a ways, with three trees there, but my doby of the time kept digging them up and i would go out and find them over and the roots dry. i kept planing them but they didnt make it.  Actually i think i had 6 there and then some ground covers.   Apparently there were rodents that kept going into the fresh dug earth? and thats what the dog was after.    someone in town told me that.  it must be true as when i was at work this same dog dug a hole in my floor!  i kid you not, lol.

We are getting dew in the am, i forgot about that.  Its getting less as the summer moves on but still there is some moisture i should be able to grab and use, or the plants can grab and use.
 
Itybt Fox
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Anne Miller wrote:If this was my property, I would look at what is already growing there.  That is what I have done with our current property.

What is edible that could be cultivated?

This list:

https://idahonativeplants.org/boise-area-native-plants/

I am not familiar with these plants though it has serviceberry, chokecherry, Oregon grape, squaw apple, golden currant, and several others that might be edible.

Also look for drought-resistant perennial vegetables.



I would have to go through the list but it looks like most there are just scrubs not food.  I want to grow some veggies. my time for playing with other plants is past now.  In the spring i every year the wild seed grass i planted comes up for a couple weeks before it drys and i have to weed eat everything to stop fires path.  I end up with old dried tumble weeds that i have to round up and set free several times.  when all the greed dies, and we get the occasional rain there is this tall on stalk bush that pops up and can grow to 8 feet with enought water, and has a large stalk, like a small tree.   I  thought to transplant them around the tiny house to create shade and water them!  they are a bear to pull out in the fall, and actuall had to wait till this spring to pull them out.   Their roots are deep.

I could use them to plant shade for veggies,  I left them around the plum tree last year, i didnt really notice any difference in the tree though.  water wise.

Thank you for that link.
 
John F Dean
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For high tunnel, think in terms of greenhouse covered in 6 mil plastic.  What you describe would have some benefit in terms of protection from wind, cold, heat, etc.
 
Itybt Fox
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John F Dean wrote:For high tunnel, think in terms of greenhouse covered in 6 mil plastic.  What you describe would have some benefit in terms of protection from wind, cold, heat, etc.



oh, so i could build a high tunnel, with straw bales, covered in clay for maybe 4 feet tall? and then add a greenhouse top, with hoops? and then plant inside?   The only challenge the wind has it to dry the plantings out. but the sun does that too of course.   Keeping plastic covering i would have to invest in uv protected panels or plastic, i couldn afford to replace the sheeting in a couple months when it got hard and started falling apart.  

thank you.
 
Anne Miller
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I fully understand that you are looking for recommendations for vegetables.

If this were my property, I would not be able to grow vegetables without water.  I live where I am in a drought most of the time.  I have to water to keep the vegetables alive.

I am offering suggestions for food that would grow on that property.

Here are some threads that might help:

Serviceberry

https://permies.com/t/99830/berry/praise-saskatoon-serviceberry-juneberry-aka

https://permies.com/t/141753/Plant-shrubs-food-forest

Chokecherry

https://permies.com/t/141795/Chokecherry

https://permies.com/t/59785/chokecherry

Oregon Grape

https://permies.com/t/13619/kitchen/Mahonia-Oregon-Grape-fruit

https://permies.com/t/64620/kitchen/Oregon-grape-Mahonia-aquilfolia-nervosa

https://permies.com/t/89194/berry/berries-safe-eat-Oregon-grape

The only other suggestion that I can offer is to look for drought-resistant perirenal vegetables.
 
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I have limited water on my property too and haul all our usable water. I tried for a couple years to plants straight into the ground but it would dry out like dust and even watering once a week which is all I could manage did very little for the plants. My solution has been self watering containers i use IBC totes and barrels both cut in half.

With these i only have to fill them with water about once a month during the summer and I know almost all of the water is being utilized by the plants I desire.
 
Itybt Fox
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Marc Dube wrote:I have limited water on my property too and haul all our usable water. I tried for a couple years to plants straight into the ground but it would dry out like dust and even watering once a week which is all I could manage did very little for the plants. My solution has been self watering containers i use IBC totes and barrels both cut in half.

With these i only have to fill them with water about once a month during the summer and I know almost all of the water is being utilized by the plants I desire.



how do you water from them to the plants?  what size do you use per the plantings?  thank you  I have a 1k gal cistern, but i could never fill it and stopped using it.   I had a 250 gal cistern for my truck, but two guys were sitting on it when i came out of the store and they had broke, er cracked it at the top front.  I tried to get them and called the police but they took off .  I never bought another one as the delivery cost more than the cistern lol.  My truck could no longer handle the long distance to pick it up so i went to the 50 gallon water containers.  thank you
 
Marc Dube
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I pump water from my cistern to the self watering container. But recently I plumbed a bulkhead into the bottom of a 55gal barrel and keep a 8ft hose attached to it. This way I can keep it in the truck to water things further away from the house.
 
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The first thing I would look for is how to grow a wind block. You need drought tolerant, fast growing trees. Osage orange comes to mind, I'm sure there's other. That wind break will prevent the wind from drying out your soil so much.
Mulch is going to be the other big factor, also protecting the soil and preventing it from drying out.

Vegetables are going to be... tricky. Most drought tolerant plants are perennial, and most vegetables are annual
I would look into sunchokes, they're quite hardy and drought tolerant once they get going. They would also grow tall and serve as a wind block. To get them started, mulch is your friend, and maybe some additional water if you can spare it. Not everyone likes eating sunchokes though, maybe try one before you plant too many.
Alternatively, you could plant a perennial food crop. I'm guessing you don't want to wait around for trees to mature, so maybe a bush or a vine? Perhaps you could grow lots of grapes and trade them to the neighbors for some veggies. Hazelnuts would be another good option, you could buy seedlings that would likely produce nuts in a year or two (but they would likely need water to get established)
 
Itybt Fox
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Clayton High wrote:The first thing I would look for is how to grow a wind block. You need drought tolerant, fast growing trees. Osage orange comes to mind, I'm sure there's other. That wind break will prevent the wind from drying out your soil so much.
Mulch is going to be the other big factor, also protecting the soil and preventing it from drying out.

Vegetables are going to be... tricky. Most drought tolerant plants are perennial, and most vegetables are annual
I would look into sunchokes, they're quite hardy and drought tolerant once they get going. They would also grow tall and serve as a wind block. To get them started, mulch is your friend, and maybe some additional water if you can spare it. Not everyone likes eating sunchokes though, maybe try one before you plant too many.
Alternatively, you could plant a perennial food crop. I'm guessing you don't want to wait around for trees to mature, so maybe a bush or a vine? Perhaps you could grow lots of grapes and trade them to the neighbors for some veggies. Hazelnuts would be another good option, you could buy seedlings that would likely produce nuts in a year or two (but they would likely need water to get established)



thank you.  yes growing trees for shade? id be dead before they were big enough to be helpful, that option is over for me now.  sad but true.  My neighbors dont trade, if anything they just take.. The took my metal 16x something building while i was at work, they didnt get the roof, and i came home from work to find it sailing about 4 feet off the ground and terrifying the horses!  i parked and ran and jumped on it before it hit the horse pen, but it wouldnt stay down.  I staked it down with the sledge and one of those t posts i had that was broken, i had to put two in it to stop it.  I fed the horses and went to bed.   I did it all in the dark , lol. its funny now but then ? i was so tired, that late night drive home for 60 miles always relaxed me by the time i got home you know. lol.

I dont know about that sunchoke, i doubt i have had one, and not sure where i could find one to taste, just grow one i guess and try it. have to research it.    In the summer the winds die down and i always hope for some breeze,  there is more movement up higher i thought to put a windmill in.  the neighbors would hate that too. I could take the sunchokes to the sat market and trade with folks there though. good idea. Thank you again.

I looked into bushes for protection, and at the time i couldnt maintain them to even get them started, i had planned to scrunch the up to help them grow, then thin them out little by little.  but i needed to be able to water them on a regular bases, that was 20 years ago.  Such big plans i had =)
 
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You mentioned a hole, septic test? This may be your solution; I can't remember what it's called, but was an adaptation of indigenous culture that lived in circumstances similar to yours. I saw this on an episode of "Homestead Rescue" with the Raney family.

They dug shallow square pits a foot or two deep, 2-3 feet square, with 12 inch wide sides, surrounding each "pit". This served multiple purposes: protected from wind, contained/collect water, depth created insulation for protection from heat and cold. They did this in a grid, so 4-8 pits in each row, with 4-8 rows.

This was irrigated by a gravity fed system that used very small tubing (less than half inch, 1/4?), that went into recycled pop bottles embedded in the center of each square with fine holes punched around the top for homemade sprinklers.

One could add bales of hay or straw around the perimeter of the grid for further wind protection and/or create a simple, clear roof with steep sides that would operate as a dew collector down the center or along the sides (this was from another episode).  

If you have access to this program, either on line or with cable, these methods would be more clearly explained.
 
D Nikolls
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Itybt Fox wrote:

D Nikolls wrote:Junk.

Like, anything that isn't toxic, that you can grab for free or better yet get paid to haul away.

Start making some shade and windbreaks.


Would earthworks be better? Ya, if you can find a way to do them for free!



Yes, however i am too old to move the material needed to create those dirt/lumber/whaterver/ windbreaks.  Im not lift more than 5 pounds, lol too funny.   I had thought to hire a dozer and have them just dig up dirt and move it into tall piles around me, creating shelter.  I have not priced that out, but yes would be nice.  I dont know how tall or the appropriate places to put them.  I do have a dump load of river rocks from a belly truck?  they gave them to me for just the cost of the gas, they wanted to get rid of them.  My land is pretty much rock free, the is a little lava here and there, but not like in some areas where its solid.  and they are small pieces.

I can get laval rock delivered, i have some broken road i got for free too, was going to use as the foundation for my straw bale barn. never got finished,  Id build the walls up go to work and come home to find them on the ground.  i gave up , i believe someone was knocking them over when i was gone.  They were stacked and ready for the mud.    My neighbors were not friendly and even stole my out building while i was at work one day, they left the roof for another day and took all the walls. it was a metal building from a kit? 16 x i dont rem now, quit large.   nice, sorry i digress again!

I cant build a pond, there isnt enough rainfall here for one.  I have some rights to irrigate 1/4 acre but it requires a well, which is 20k i dont have.   The water was supposed to be only 50 feet down and 100 for cleaner, but when it came time to put it in its 300 ft down.  so .. yeah.  



Gosh.

You have had quite the array of experiences, and the current options are certainly challenging.

It seems like sourcing unwanted materials that someone else is willing to deliver has some potential, maybe.. a big circular(minus entrances) rock berm? But of course this will be about time, luck, and my least favorite thing.. networking.

Geoff Lawton had a video showing some amazing results from depression era circular berms, I believe in the southern US. Should be findable with some google, if your net is less awful than mine. Inspiring, if nothing else.

I would definitely suggest trying to start some seedlings from that plum tree, and/or cuttings. Perhaps you can graft some other varieties onto it?

Wish I had more ideas to offer..
 
Anne Miller
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Lorinne said They dug shallow square pits a foot or two deep, 2-3 feet square, with 12 inch wide sides, surrounding each "pit". This served multiple purposes: protected from wind, contained/collect water, depth created insulation for protection from heat and cold. They did this in a grid, so 4-8 pits in each row, with 4-8 rows.



I believe Lorinne is talking about Zai Holes

You can read about them here:

https://permies.com/t/138768/Water-Plants-Trees-Drought-Conditions

Here are some threads about drought-tolerant plants:

https://permies.com/t/86308/Drought-tolerant-food-trees-shrubs
https://permies.com/t/91376/Suggestions-edible-fence-climber-drought
https://permies.com/t/92425/Drought-resistant-legume-shrubs
https://permies.com/t/114268/berry/Drought-tolerant-berries-shallow-poor
https://permies.com/t/113313/Ways-Homestead-Resilient-Drought
 
Itybt Fox
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Thank you thank you and thank you!  I will do some research on everything you have given me.  It will take some time, i will try to get back to you in a few days.  
 
pollinator
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I'm wondering if a fog net or fog harp would work on your land? It would need protected from the wind, but it would harvest moisture out of the air without the need for electricity.
 
Itybt Fox
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I'm wondering if a fog net or fog harp would work on your land? It would need protected from the wind, but it would harvest moisture out of the air without the need for electricity.



oh, i had forgotten about the electic appliance that could make water from air here i think i figured out i could get at least one gallon a day from it.  There isnt any fog here except about 4 days a year, but i do believer we have dew, at least now, as any clothes left on the line at night feel a bit damp in the am.. perhaps just cool.  There isnt enough dew to keep the grasses alive. so perhaps its my imagination.  There are water from dew apparatuses. i should investigat those too. Thank you very much!
 
pollinator
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Itybt Fox wrote:
oh, so i could build a high tunnel, with straw bales, covered in clay for maybe 4 feet tall? and then add a greenhouse top, with hoops? and then plant inside?   The only challenge the wind has it to dry the plantings out. but the sun does that too of course.   Keeping plastic covering i would have to invest in uv protected panels or plastic, i couldn afford to replace the sheeting in a couple months when it got hard and started falling apart.  

thank you.



I've been looking into UV sheeting for a 10 x 12 greenhouse and think I can reasonably cover it for $150.  Given your climate, I'm not sure if the sheeting would last as many years but hopefully someone will have some insight on that.

Again, not familiar with your climate, but would the possibility of growing in a pit greenhouse and utilizing a shade cover when it's extremely hot make it possible to grow vegetables?  Of course water and mulch will be necessities.  Do you still have the cracked 250 gallon cistern?  I know there are products for repairing plastics that are food safe, so that may be an option.  Would you be able to pay someone to bring enough water to fill the larger cistern on your property?  
 
Itybt Fox
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Michelle Heath wrote:

Itybt Fox wrote:
oh, so i could build a high tunnel, with straw bales, covered in clay for maybe 4 feet tall? and then add a greenhouse top, with hoops? and then plant inside?   The only challenge the wind has it to dry the plantings out. but the sun does that too of course.   Keeping plastic covering i would have to invest in uv protected panels or plastic, i couldn afford to replace the sheeting in a couple months when it got hard and started falling apart.  

thank you.



I've been looking into UV sheeting for a 10 x 12 greenhouse and think I can reasonably cover it for $150.  Given your climate, I'm not sure if the sheeting would last as many years but hopefully someone will have some insight on that.

Again, not familiar with your climate, but would the possibility of growing in a pit greenhouse and utilizing a shade cover when it's extremely hot make it possible to grow vegetables?  Of course water and mulch will be necessities.  Do you still have the cracked 250 gallon cistern?  I know there are products for repairing plastics that are food safe, so that may be an option.  Would you be able to pay someone to bring enough water to fill the larger cistern on your property?  



still have both cisterns. I looked into having the cracked one fixed.  I continued to use it till the crack went across the whole top and almost to the bottom, i actually use clear tape and taped it together and then from side to side for support, it lasted that summer and into the next before i pulled it out of the truck. The people did not have the correct tool to meld it back together, they couldnt warrant  it and it was pricey to get it to them, too far for the old truck to go.  The 1000 gallon cistern i called water delivery, it would cost 1k to get it filled!  yeah right, in their dreams.  they really didnt want to fill it.  Im thinking of cutting a door into it and using it as a shed!  if i could only move it.  its still got some water in it, and try as i might i cant manage to tip it over, i get it up and i think it will go and no it does not, lol.  i need to get it up, and tie it to the truck to tip it. and then i can roll it  easily enough lol.  

the climate is desert.   sage brush is the most abundant thing here and tumble weeds. snakes, mice, things like that. scorpions and pretty blue centipedes(nasty ones).  Oh and those baby faced ... crickets? cant think what they are called although i havent seen any for a long long ime.fascinating creatures.
 
Michelle Heath
pollinator
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$1000!  Yikes, that's $1 a gallon, which is what we'd pay in the store here for a gallon of drinking water.  I'm guessing the high cost is because of being in the desert.  I'm sure making several trips to fill the 50 gallon containers wouldn't be feasible either.  

Do you have electricity?  Hydroponics may be your best bet though there would be some start-up costs for the system.  Unfortunately that's something that I have absolutely no knowledge of but I'm sure someone here does.

 
Itybt Fox
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Michelle Heath wrote:$1000!  Yikes, that's $1 a gallon, which is what we'd pay in the store here for a gallon of drinking water.  I'm guessing the high cost is because of being in the desert.  I'm sure making several trips to fill the 50 gallon containers wouldn't be feasible either.  

Do you have electricity?  Hydroponics may be your best bet though there would be some start-up costs for the system.  Unfortunately that's something that I have absolutely no knowledge of but I'm sure someone here does.



No, the high cost was because its a water truck,and he really didnt want to do it, and not keep it umm  lol cant think drinkable. I get my water from the city and its very inexpensive for me, they only charge for what i get.  They used to have a minumum of 19.99 a month but when they saw how much i used he just charges me for that, by the gallons.  I usually pay 15 - 20 every six months, more for summer .. er i use more in the summer.  

I have to 50 gal potable barrels, i usually keep one here and use one to fill, although it smashed the thing i made for the one here and i havent replaced it. so many other things to do.  So sometimes i put them both in the truck and fill.  I had a potable hand pump, but found out it wasnt really for potable water it came with the barrel, lol.  I bought another on amazon and it was not potable either. frustarating. so i just bought some hose the kind you use in an rv for water to the water tank? and use it, but i hate using it too, its a pain to get it started and then let it run, so, i devised a hook to hook it on and keep the water in it? so i could just on hook it use, and hook it back up. again a pain but doable.  I dont have much patience now for things like that lol  although i need to set it up again, as i have a new front loading portable washer on order.   I have two sets of washer and dryers. one stacked. and only use the one dryer. lol.  I used to bring water and use the washer too in the bigger cistern but yeah not any longer.  and with the virus i dont want to use public laundry any more.  This little washer can was a queen size comforter!  It doesnt have a spin dry on it though, they are inventing one but the cost of the washer will more than double with it in it.  Cheaper to by a spinner, i will use the one of the washer lol.  i digress.

its only about 4 miles to get the water, the thing is when the truck dies ill have to get it in the car with only the 1 gallon jugs and dump theim onto the 50 when i get back here.  my land is in the half mile suck in zone for the city.  I had to get double permits for everything.  It was zoned commercial and i got that changed too.

 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8nqnOcoLqE ; maybe something like this might inspire you. It's a series about places suffering drought in India and turn it into something beautiful. Best of luck
 
gardener
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Wow!  You really do have some serious challenges in trying to put in a garden.  It seems like you are short of almost everything you need, but money, water and physical strength seem to be the most serious.  Do I have that about right?

But it seems to me that you do have at least some water.  Also, you have some straw.  Can you get more straw if you need to?  My personal suggestion (take or leave as you see fit) is to start small and grow a few veggies that are your favorite and have moderate water needs.  Actually tomatoes are not a bad start.  They don’t need as much water as they appear and just love the heat and sun.  Could you plant some and then mulch heavily with straw to really cut down on evaporation?  Though I don’t have anywhere near your evaporation rate, I do have hot summers and having a good layer of mulch made the difference between healthy, living soil and hard sun-baked clay.

I now make a good layer of mulch a standard part of my garden now and it makes an enormous difference.  Water is still necessary, but now a little bit of water goes a very long way.

This is just an idea and maybe it could be helpful.

Eric  
 
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Not to toot my own horn, but I just made a post about gardening with little or no irrigation. I don't know how many of the strategies are relevant to your area and conditions, but wide plant spacings and mulch are two relatively low effort methods that have been been used for hundreds or thousands of years to get food without irrigation.

You check out other strategies here: https://permies.com/t/143043/Gardening-irrigation
 
pollinator
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Four shipping pallets stood up on end in a square configuration and tied in the corners will create shade, disrupt the wind, and keep the deer off. I have used these to successfully plant out small fruit trees with no irrigation in an area that receives ~12 inches rain per year with super hot dry summers. Versus seedlings that didn't have a "pallet protector", the ones planted in the pallets are now 3 feet tall whereas the others are only 1 foot. A little bit of shade and wind blocking makes a huge difference.
 
Itybt Fox
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Abe Coley wrote:Four shipping pallets stood up on end in a square configuration and tied in the corners will create shade, disrupt the wind, and keep the deer off. I have used these to successfully plant out small fruit trees with no irrigation in an area that receives ~12 inches rain per year with super hot dry summers. Versus seedlings that didn't have a "pallet protector", the ones planted in the pallets are now 3 feet tall whereas the others are only 1 foot. A little bit of shade and wind blocking makes a huge difference.



Thank you i have some pallets, had them for years, i could do this, i used to use them for compost fencing, and i have some for small patio, lol.  I also used them to create a floor for a make shift storage area, then put 3/4 subflooring on top, then cyclone fence panels around the perimeter then tarp on top, i replaced the tarp each year, and in the winter removed the snow, it worked for a long time.   I could dig all those pallets out too.   I think i can.  When i tried to grow my trees, and the dog dug them up, i had purchased potted trees that were about i cant remember maybe 10 feet tall? all on sale for 5 to 10 dollars, i was so happy!  I brought them home in the horse trailer and planted them all over the next couple of days.. I then planted ground covers around them out to about 3 feet i think, lambs ear, it spread well, but they needed water.   I managed it for 2 months before i found they couldnt survive the dog digging them up and the roots were too dried.  now i think i should have cut them down and kept trying, but i am not a tree person. and i was driving to work 60 miles away. i just gave up.

 
Itybt Fox
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Eric Hanson wrote:Wow!  You really do have some serious challenges in trying to put in a garden.  It seems like you are short of almost everything you need, but money, water and physical strength seem to be the most serious.  Do I have that about right?

But it seems to me that you do have at least some water.  Also, you have some straw.  Can you get more straw if you need to?  My personal suggestion (take or leave as you see fit) is to start small and grow a few veggies that are your favorite and have moderate water needs.  Actually tomatoes are not a bad start.  They don’t need as much water as they appear and just love the heat and sun.  Could you plant some and then mulch heavily with straw to really cut down on evaporation?  Though I don’t have anywhere near your evaporation rate, I do have hot summers and having a good layer of mulch made the difference between healthy, living soil and hard sun-baked clay.

I now make a good layer of mulch a standard part of my garden now and it makes an enormous difference.  Water is still necessary, but now a little bit of water goes a very long way.

This is just an idea and maybe it could be helpful.

Eric  



Thank you yes straw is just a mile away, from the feed store.  I do have a lot of rotten strow.  One year in desperation due to the heavy snow melt in less than 3 hours and flooding in the horses barn and about and in my front yard where i wald to the old truck, i dumped bales of straw to walk on!  it was marvelous, no more having the mud suck my shoes or boots of and then have them vanish before i could grab them again, lol. true story!!!  one night at midnight i had to park down the drive and walk the rest 350 feet in the dark, after about 50 feet, i lost one shoe and it filled in with mud, i kept going, and lost the other .. yeah, cold muddy feet, i kept going and by the time i reache the area light of my tiny house, the ground was frozen, lol and easy to walk on.  I wish i had a camera then and recorded the trek. i dont think anyone believes me when i tell them.  I was so happy it was frozen, thought to go back down and bring the car up but did not.  

sorry i digress! That straw i put down? when it warmed up over the next two day, turned into this horrible rancid molding disgusting nasty SMELLY stuff.   lol i was raised in Seattle, didnt have a clue that could happen. It was horrible!!!  =)  it finally dried out, but oh outside was not the place to be!  actually i could smell it inside too when i opened the windows even just a crack lol.  

Speaking of water? its been raining all day!  some heavy then soft, Ive often though of makeing a low roof structure to collect the rains when i could.like today.  Just 2x4 in the ground with 1x2 cross and then some metal siding, and something to catch the water in.  a gutter, and then barrels.  I think i decided it wasnt really feasible.. at the time..

 
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Hello Itybt Fox! Have you tried any indoor gardening solutions? I'm looking for some because I don't have much outdoor space and I want to grow my own veggies as well. Indoors could help your problem with the sun exposure, and be easier to maintain. If anyone has any good ideas or tips, all are appreciated! I will keep looking until then...
 
Itybt Fox
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No i live in a tiny house, and dont have any windows that get sun in the winter.  Id have to build a greenhouse, or something similar as above.
 
pollinator
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Did I hear the words "heavy snow melt" and "flooding?"

Dude from serious snow country talkin' here. I keep reminding myself that snow is just funny shaped water. It makes me feel better. My snowblower is a pump, guided by a thoughtful snow dude with icicles on his mustache.

So: would it be possible to harvest that seasonal resource using a simple lined pond?
 
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