Water Water Everywhere, Why Bother Conserving?

#WorldWaterDay is today, March 22. This is a day where we take a closer look at our water consumption habits and see what we can do to increase reduction (that makes sense, right?) However, looking at my driveway currently covered under a foot of snow and ice, I can make a general statement that we are nowhere near using up our allotment of earthly freshwater (less than 1% of all water, btw). Therefore, I declare that we must drink and use up as much water as we can.

In fact, since there is an abundance of water (an…overflow, if you will) I decided to see in what ways I could increase my family’s water consumption. Drinking more water equals less water (snow up here) that will fall on my driveway. Here’s a couple ideas that could help. Feel free to use them, too! Continue reading

Birds, Bugs, Water & Agriculture

How can we have more birds, cleaner water, better food, and a healthier planet? That seems to be the questions a lot of people are asking now days. You can watch one documentary after another about all the environmental problems we face, many because of or food system. What’s harder to find is examples and stories on how agriculture can provide the food we need, for some nine billion people, and protect the natural world we so enjoy and need.

The good news in agriculture is out there, and you don’t need to go far. Self-reliant and self-educated farmers are implementing practices that build soil health, diversify the landscape, and protect their pocketbook. The farmers, ranchers and resource professionals implementing these restorative practices are new age pioneers, leading the way in conservation agriculture.

Gabe Brown, of Brown’s Ranch, farms 5400 acres in central North Dakota and has led the way in innovative cover cropping, livestock integration, and other soil building practices. In doing so he provides habitat for pollinators and predatory insects, game and songbirds, small mammals, and the microorganisms below ground that fuel the whole system. He protects water quality by increasing soil organic matter and water holding capacity, mitigating runoff and restoring hydrology. This type of agriculture functions as an ecosystem, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, further protecting water, soil, and our children that eat the food he grows. And Brown’s Farm generates greater profits, allowing him to bring his two sons and their families back to the farm, creating the rural economic development everyone wants to see. Continue reading

Working Together Can Improve Water Quality

World Water Day is March 22…

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Flint Michigan”.

As of late, it is probably WATER. Lead poisoned water, sick children, an outraged community, and a swarm of citizens and media asking a beleaguered government:

How could you let this happen?” followed by “You need to fix the problem!

That is a fair question and a fair expectation. The leadership should be accountable for their actions and lack of actions. To compromise water/health-safety for the sake of a budget is an affront to our “life, liberty, and the pursuit of ANYTHING…” That sentiment is shared by many of us even though we are blessed to live in a region where we have abundant pristine water. But if something like that could happen in Flint, couldn’t it happen here as well? Continue reading

Nature Notes: Water Awakening

March, in the minds of many, marks the arrival of spring. Locations all across the US have shattered record highs this week, with the warmth scheduled to continue this weekend. Spring has sprung – fast and furiously. But spring isn’t the only thing arriving in March. As our days continue to lengthen and temps continue to rise, our landscape undergoes a magical transformation, with more and more wildlife returning to the area each day. Of course most of this is due to increased sunlight and temperature, but there is another magical force stirring the land – water! How fitting with World Water Day fast approaching!

Continue reading