• Harvest the Snow, and Reap a (Radio) Show

    Here in our high-alpine, wind-swept desert, our gardens need all of the water they can get. When shoveling paths and driveways, those who appreciate the importance of moist soils shovel toward the root zones of plants, into veggie beds, or onto the compost pile. Since about nine inches of snow equals about one inch of rain, you can add an extra year’s worth of precipitation to a three-by-three-foot compost pile simply by delivering snow from a 60-foot by three-foot path after a six-inch snow storm. Of course, it’s much more convenient to dump snow in the immediate vicinity of the path you’re making, so I typically chuck it as close as I can to the root zones of nearby plant material. The compost pile is just too far away from the front walk. Another benefit of harvesting snow in this manner is that it’s great exercise, and so it’s a perfect way to spend your gradual greening time. One busy session of snow shoveling can save you a trip to the neighborhood gym, and this will save on gas and gym fees while it makes your home a more safe and comfortable place to be.

    Also: Please catch me out on KSFR (101.1 FM) Saturday, January 22, 2010, at 10am. I’m being interviewed by the president of the board of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute, Robert Ross, who hosts a show called, “Gardens, Food, and Santa Fe.”


  1. Ellen Lampert says:

    Well, after the 3 snowstorms we have had this week, I can see that every place we put in drains under the canales for snow melting down is having an immediate effect on the water harvesting! And since there is a 36" pile-up by my drains, from snow shoveling, I know that the my soil will be hosting a lot of water this spring. Yes, in winter the gym is extraneous at this altitude.

  1. Tom Mauter says:

    I knew that was the reason I planted courtyard vegitation adjacent to our walkways!

  1. @Ellen: Glad that you are getting a kick of some of that roof-water conveyance work that we did. I look forward to getting your cistern installed soon, too! Unfortunately, the city is still slowing things down slightly, but the end (so that we can begin!) is near!

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The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

Share Here!
Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.