Monday is water day in our household. All things pertaining to water happen over here on our farm today. What makes this especially exciting is, on our farm, we have no running water. That's right. No water comes in our house unless it is held in a five gallon container. We have a well which sits a couple hundred yards from our house and this is the source of our Monday joys. Our last house, we hauled water from a fresh spring that sat a few hundred yards downhill from the house, so here, having a well feels a bit, well...spoiled.
Our day starts with watering the farm animals. We have a 1000 gallon rain cistern that is connected to the gutters on the barn. When it rains, it fills up and, on Mondays, we attach a recycled pvc pipe to it that brings the water to an open trough for the animals. Between this and the patches of water in the marshy areas in the cow's pasture, this should last them a week.
Next is watering the humans. I have six five gallon containers that holds our water that we use for washing dishes and three five gallon glass containers that holds our drinking water. Next, we fill our three five gallon solar shower bags that, if we aren't wasteful, it can give two of us dirty farm folks a shower. For a family of four, we use about 60 gallons of water a week. Add another 20 gallons for laundry. Not bad considering the average American uses this much per day.
In the summertime, most of our water requirements are taken care of outside. We have an outdoor bathhouse for our solar showers and 'bathtub' (read: cow trough). Our laundry is washed outside and even our dishes get cleaned on our outdoor porch. Everything is just so much more meaningful for us when we are doing 'chores' surrounded by nature. In the wintertime, everything is brought inside....and then outside again. We heat up water on our cookstove for dishes, laundry and bathing and when we are done with the water, we haul it back outside again.
This way of living seems to give us a bit more meaning...a bit more pause to our day that might not happen if we lived a bit more conventionally. We are conscious of every drop of water we use, including the choice to not have a traditional flush toilet. This, of course, keeps mainstream guests from staying with us, but I like to think I might be better suited for less traditional guests, anyway.
So, as my Monday comes to a close, I have clean clothes hanging from the clothesline, dishes put away from an hour of handwashing them, fresh cold water in our ceramic pot for drinking, a solar shower bag heating up by the sun for my afternoon shower and a black tank of water heating up for my six year old's bath.
I honestly can't imagine another way of life that I could love more than this one.