Water as household waste for your veggie patch Rain water: collect rain water off your roof via the downpipes into jojo tanks if you can afford them or wheely bins which you can then wheel around your garden to water it (kind thanks to Peter Brooks for the idea) and create swells in the soil and position your beds in such a way that they make maximum use of the water run-off. Grey household water recycling: o To make it safe for the soil, you have to filter out the harmful chemicals that are added to the various soaps that we use to clean ourselves, our washing and our homes. This is a costly exercise unless you decide not to put harmful soaps into your water in the first place. Did you know that all we really need to make our water clean what we need to clean is change its molecular structure? The rest of what gets added to the various soaps is just to make the product look and smell more appealing and is, quite frankly, consumer ra-ra. o The following idea may not be for everyone, but I find that the less soap and shampoo I use, the less moisturizer and conditioner I need afterwards to put back into the skin and hair what the soap has taken out – and the moisturizer and conditioner off course goes into the next bath water again. Through advertising – part of the Consumer Capitalism God thing, we have been conned into needing far more than we actually do. At least try to switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products. I am using triple orange general household cleaner and washing detergent together with a Bio Wash Ball. My washing comes out clean and soft – proof that normal washing powder leaves the washing in need of softener which is unnecessary if you don’t use the run- of -the - mill washing powders in the first place. o Attach creepy crawly pipes to your bathroom and kitchen drain pipes and lay them into the areas in your garden you’d like watered – you can add or remove lengths of pipe as the need arises (kind thanks to Shayne Simpson for the idea). o Another idea I have seen in successful operation is to attach a medium width very long black irrigation pipe to the water outlet pipes and unfurl the coil flat into the area of the veggie patch, creating a spiral running from the outside to the centre. Drill holes into the pipe in short intervals and use the space in between as planting area. When the water drains through the pipe, you will have a little spiral sprinkler system watering the entire circle (kind thanks to Thomas Rudman). o Toilet waste: Consented, this is for the more seasoned permaculturists out there: I grew up in Germany - in a garden village during the summer months -with no sewerage pipe system. I clearly remember my grandparents emptying out the compost toilet into the potato patch and thinking nothing unusual of it. We enjoyed the most delicious potatoes! Here again, the less chemicals and rubbish we put into our bodies, the better for our veg patch soil! I heard the other day that corpses do not need embalming these days because of all the preservatives we eat during our lifetime…perhaps its urban legend material, but it comes pretty close to the truth. I think by now you’re getting the picture of the closed system. Jeremy mentioned the abbreviation NIMBY – not in my back yard – and the idea that if you don’t want something to happen in your back yard, then you should not want it to happen at all. It’s ok to watch our chemically poisoned waste water and bags and bags of refuse leave our property, and because we never see what happens to them and how they affect our environment, we don’t spare them another thought. Seeing the chemically polluted soil of our own veggie patch brings the problem of waste literally closer to home and we are much more likely to do something about the problem and fast too! In the next article: where to put your veggie patch and how to prepare the beds.