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As the climate swings unpredictably year to year, causing early spring floods and summer drought in the Western United States, it makes sense to understand and implement established ways to manage the rainfall on our properties. Whether we live on a small suburban lot or run a small farm on multiple acres, these techniques allow us to be resilient in the face of uncertain rainfall. We can thus begin a process of building predictability into our summer gardens, regardless of whether we have a native pollinator garden, grow fruits and vegetables, or do both. This talk will focus on techniques such as rainwater collection systems, as well as ways to slow and stop the flow of water on our ground so that our soil is better saturated when it does rain. It is possible to actively compensate for a lower rainfall in the winter so that it has a smaller impact on our summer gardens.
Radhika Thekkath is a retired computer scientist and active member of our Chapter who has been gardening with native plants for over ten years. She recently returned to California after a three-year stay in Washington state. Her more recent work includes active forestry management and stewardship as well as sustainable building with cob and straw bale. She is a certified permaculture designer.