We use the Back to Eden gardening method for our garden with plenty of mulch on the surface. This method does an excellent job of keeping the dirt underneath moist and rich. So far the longest stretch without rain this spring was about two weeks with some warm sunny days in the 80’s. I went out in the garden and turned over a patch of the mulch to find that indeed everything underneath was still pretty moist.
Living off grid without a connection to electricity or running water will make you appreciate just how important the rain is to humanity. It will drive home what it meant to people groups that lived just a 100 years ago and beyond, where all they had was maybe a well and nearby streams and rivers to obtain a livelihood. Rain was so important for their crops and gardens and livestock.
In fact, the scriptures give pretty clear warnings to those who would disobey God and one of the most often repeated punishments given to those who are disobedient is that our Creator would withhold rain from the people.
“And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Rain has played a huge part in the existence of man throughout history. When I was living in the city, the rain was more of a burden for me. I didn’t like driving in it. Or parking my car at work and then having to run in before getting all wet. It ruined going to and enjoying outside events that relied upon nice weather. It was looked upon as just a giant inconvenience that we had to put up with.
Now things have certainly changed for us. I will never complain about rain again. I need it for my garden. I need it for our washing water. We need it for our drinking water. If it doesn’t rain, our wells can run dry. Our fish pond can dry up. Our livestock need it for drinking. My aquaponics system will run low and dangerously raise ammonia levels for the fish inside. We need water and it plays a huge part in our daily lives and so if we go more than 2 weeks without rain, we start to take notice. More than a month without rain and things can get serious.
Back in the city, when I needed water, I just turned on the faucet and made sure to pay my bill every month. It’s just something that is so easily taken for granted. I can’t think of anything that is so important to our homestead as rain and water. Cities like Las Vegas that get very little rainfall would never have existed in ancient times. In fact, it’s modern technology that allows many of these places to exist on the map today. If for some reason (perhaps economic collapse of some sort), these places can no longer provide the water needed, you will see a mass exodus out to areas where water is more plentiful.
I’m very thankful for what the Creator has provided for us here on An American Homestead.