Summer 2022 was the driest summer on record in Europe. In this video, we are discussing three small water measures that helped us to fight drought in the Bioclimate Park, Drienová.
1. Cover crops
In May, in our newly planted vineyard, we grew cover crops among the rows of the planted vines: sweet clover, sorghum, buckwheat, phacelia, and sunflowers. In the extreme drought year, the plants sprouted very slowly but gradually formed a successive layer of rich foliage. Groundcover crops protect the harvest, enrich soil health, and aerate the soil, retaining water. Our vineyard reaped the benefits of rainwater and aerated soil. Dew is constantly forming here, irrigating the vineyard. Why? We harvested rainwater during spring rainfall and stored it near the vineyard. The water slowly infiltrated the ground and improved the soil’s moisture. Dew precipitation during widespread drought shows a healthy water cycle.
2. Gravity-powered renewable water feeder
The water feeder for animals has a volume of about 100 liters. It is supplied by the continuous water collection from the wet corner of a cold cellar. The siphon replenishes the water feeder when it senses water pressure drop. Thus, drop by drop, about 10 liters of water are collected daily and drained into a small reservoir to benefit animals. This is a renewable resource.
3. Rainwater harvesting sustains fertile soil
At the end of winter, the entire Bioclimate park retained rainwater, gradually soaking into the ground. Therefore, the soil has been sufficiently watered all year round. Every morning, there is enough dew, which supplies the plants with water, and the park continues to be productive. This was also true during the extremely dry growing season of 2022. This year, Europe had a severe lack of rain. The two regular streams running across our park ran dry. Yet, moisture and dew provided for a bountiful harvest. Many farmers are struggling and cry they have a shortage of milk due to drought. This, too, is often due to the poor rainwater retention management on their property. We get a full milk pail with over two liters of milk from each goat daily.
Are you interested in water retention measures for landscape? You can read the post about our “Water for climate” activities.