Hi All,

La Gonave’s yearly “dry season” typically lasts about four months (December-March). The dry season is so dry that farmers can’t keep a garden going and the white dust from the roads swirl in the wind. Every few years the dry season extends later into April or May which worries families who depend on their gardens to feed their families and to sell some of their produce at market. So far the rains haven’t started and we’re getting a bit worried that it will be dry for awhile yet.

It is ironic, isn’t it, that an island surrounded by gazillions of gallons of water must worry about water. To boot, some 50 inches of fresh rainwater falls onto the island from the sky each year. Most of it soaks in to replenish the water table, but much of it roars down the mountain into the sea. Right now we’re holding our breath. La Gonave needs rain! Life Garden needs rain!

We remind folks a lot down here about the free fresh water that falls from the sky each Summer and how, if they could catch it and save it, they could extend their growing season. The math is that, every inch of water that falls on one square foot of roof equals 0.6 gallons of water. This means that even the tiniest of houses (say 12’ x 12’) can fill up a 55 gallon drum from just one inch of water! Larger buildings, like churches and schools, etc. can (and should!) be harvesting tens of thousands of gallons of rainwater every year, water they can use for their gardens all Winter long.

The Life Garden teaching pavilion is 40×40 ft, giving us 1,600 square feet surface area. Each inch of rain gives us 1,200 gallons of water for our gardens. As Life Garden expands and we have more and more seedlings to produce and nurture and distribute, our need for water expands. Up until this year we have had a 9,000 gallon storage capacity, capacity that came dangerously close to not getting us through the dry season! We are fixing this by building a large 15,000 gallon capacity ground cistern which means we can go into each year’s dry season with 24,000 gallons of water. As far as Life Garden goes: more water means more trees we can grow to give to the people of La Gonave to plant across the island.

Help me pray for rain and for ideas how we can help people catch and store their free rain.



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PHOTO:  Life Garden’s new 15,000 gallon rainwater cistern under construction last week.