Please write letters to Anthony Rendon – we are conserving, but we’re still getting squeezed by Cal Water

1 Feb
I was happy to find, when I removed the freeze cloth, my nopal cacti had grown alot.

I was happy to find, when I removed the freeze cloth, my nopal cacti had grown alot.   The little one at right front was a leaf that fell off. I threw it in the compost pile, and about two months later, I realized it was growing, so brought it back. The big mother plant is there in the left foreground, the original plant is hardly visible behind all the new growth.

I’ve been reading newspapers in little towns around Greater Los Angeles – Downey, Cudahy, Hawthorne – looking for their reaction on the drought. Alot of them are well-aware of their natural surroundings, one man chastising his neighbors in a letter to the editor for trying to have lush green lawns using imported water.

Here at my house, I realized a year or two ago, we needed to start getting rid of water-intensive landscaping – in our case, an acre or so of lawn between our little domicile and our  tenants’ up front. So, we just stopped watering huge sections, let it go, and went about trying to find some sort of mitigation for the resulting stickers, dirt and mud.

First we laid a lot of gravel and rock. I like that, it keeps the areas directly around our houses fairly neat and easy to clean. I also like rock collecting, and we go alot of places where we find really great rocks for rock gardens. I got all kinds of cool rocks from all over California. 

We also started looking for “drought tolerant” plants. I had this nopal cactus from my mom, I’d dug it out of her front yard when I sold her house, and put it in a plastic pot. There it was for years, toted from one house to another, like a mummy. Sometimes it would grow a nopalito, which would usually shrivel and fall off. Finally I decided to plant the poor old thing. I found out, there were three separate plants in the pot. I can’t get over how well they’re doing now.

I placed my mom’s old strawberry pots among the nopals last year, having had them for years and never used them for strawberries. Wow, they worked fantastic.

I took all the old "mother" plants out of my strawberry pots and replaced them with the babies they'd had, which were growing in the ground all around the pots.

I took all the old “mother” plants out of my strawberry pots and replaced them with the babies they’d had, which were growing in the ground all around the pots.

I cleaned them out and added some fresh dirt and started planting the babies. They had been growing on no water in the cold cold ground, and as soon as they got into that peat moss and perlite mix I used, and I gave them a big drink of leaf tea from my rain barrel, they perked up like they’d never been anywhere else. Hello Sweetheart!

Mmmmm! That last storm left me with 55 gallons of leaf tea from my rain gutters. Wow, I got to get more of these barrels.

Mmmmm! That last storm left me with 55 gallons of leaf tea from my rain gutters. Wow, I got to get more of these barrels.

My husband and I bought a kit to turn these old plastic barrels into rain barrels. We bought the hardware at Home Depot, less than 10 bucks.

We cut a hole in the bottom, no rocket science required, and easy-as-pie, inserted the valve kit.  Remember to put it on a raised pedestal so you can get pressure in your hose.

We cut a hole in the bottom, no rocket science required, and easy-as-pie, inserted the valve kit. Remember to put it on a raised pedestal so you can get pressure in your hose.

 

I was amazed, that little storm we had, I got a full 55 gallon barrel. This I will use on my container plants. Right now we’re planting seeds for our Summer garden.

Ah, here-in lies future tomato sauce.

Ah, here-in lies future tomato sauce.

I conserve in times of drought, and try to save some aside in times of plenty – that’s a lifestyle I was raised with. But Cal Water is using the drought to take advantage of us. Don’t be a sap, write to Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember.Rendon@asm.ca.gov    Mr. Rendon sits on a committee that is participating in hearings regarding water rates. Cal Water is gouging us, and it’s not only hurting us all personally, it’s going to start hurting our economy. Between this and the upcoming garbage rate increase, we will all have less “disposable” income. That’s going to trickle up when sales taxes continue their steady dive. 

Me, I’m going to buy more rain barrels, and keep writing letters. I hope you will do same. 

 

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