Wood chip mulch provides an immediate, cumulative, and incredible
change for any landscape.
Bare soil is harmful
Bare soil allows the sun to beat down on the earth and degrade it. Any chance of life is squandered and the topsoil becomes dust. This exposes the land to be easily eroded from rain and wind which also degrades any development of soil ecology that may have gotten to occur. The soil becomes more and more challenging to develop. Mother Nature wants to be covered.
Move beyond rock-based mulch
Often, I see excessive rock mulch use in the Verde Valley. This can be a good option, as it is a strong erosion control and it shades the underlying soil. Rock mulch can also, over time, add minerals to your soil. But rock mulch also accumulates more heat and is often controlled to stay bare through additional herbicide use. Rock mulch perpetuates the desolate, desert environment that some are forcing to keep bare and hot. What we want to do is promote succession towards a the desert ecosystem that this environment so desperately wants to move towards. This includes organic mulching.
Rock mulch is valuable for heavy erosion control. Great for paths as well as keeping the structure of natural drainage systems intact.
Organic matter blankets our soil with life
Our trees, our land, and we love water. It’s that simple. When we put our thoughts towards how we worship our resources, we can become healers and worship ourselves; and all of those around us.
One of the easiest greywater systems - that is, reusing the “fresh” water we have in our homes - is called Laundry to Landscape. With somewhere around $250-500 or so, we can re-source nutrient-rich water directly within our homescape. Not only does this allow for watershed replenishing and putting less stress on a homeowner’s septic tank, we can revitalize and water various trees, plants, shrubs, and even edible and medicinal plants.
Greywater attributes simple things, like washing your laundry, with incredibly powerful realities like:
You are empowering and enlivening your local land and food sources with what they need whenever you do a load of laundry!
When I, and anybody, comes along the chance to repurpose their “waste” and “sewer water” towards healing the land and plants around them, it is an exciting and life-long empowering shift towards self and communal sustinance.
Imagine cleaning your cloths and knowing that the 20-50 gallons/load of water is nourishing several fruit trees, herbs and shrubs, and the watershed beneath you. The nutrients used to clean your clothes, and on your clothes, are washing into the complete soil ecosystem connected to your diverse landscape.
That feels good. And does with every load!
If you are interested in greywater systems in the Arizona, check out the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's PDF on greywater. It is informative and amazing to see Arizona have such great greywater laws!
Also, Art Ludwig is a greywater master, and his books and website are a wonderful resource for greywater systems. Check out his website when you have a chance.