Unpredictable weather can also be costly by damaging crops—and lower backs. Back in 2012, she says it didn’t rain from roughly May to mid-August. Since the vegetable garden isn’t set up with a costly drip irrigation system, Dr. Kahlenberg recalls watering each plant for 10 seconds by hand several times a week. As the weeks passed, the farm’s well, which supplies water to the house, barn and garden, was running dry.
Still, she was determined not to lose any plants. So she saved the family’s bath water. Every night, she bucketed five gallons at a time, carrying it downstairs and across the backyard to the garden to water less crucial vegetables, like pumpkins.