Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.

In an uncharacteristic fit of romantic desire, free from the guilt-inducing sins of hangover or forehead glitter, I randomly and voluntarily decided to get my wife flowers. It's been a while, some might say far too long, but I wanted to do something special.

Daunted by the price tags, I sat there in a haze as I tried to break down the cost per ounce --as if I was buying cheese or bulk laundry detergent-- all for an item who's prophesy had been subsequently foretold: store to home, home to vase, vase to shelf, shelf to compost. Basically, it would be $60 to buy something just to watch it's slow, quiet death. How did this tradition begin?

Fortunately, there was a local nursery across the street and I decided to see what they had to offer. The combination of their aisle-after-aisle Ohio grown roses and the warm humid weather sprung my wallet into action, and I was out the door two ripe hybrid tea Peace roses (perfect, given the warm political, romantic and environmental climates).

Fast forward to one week later...

While the romantic sentiment took well, I wholeheartedly admit that I have never been an avid gardener, and our house has, for some time, been the Guantanamo Bay of gardens. My black thumb has consumed more plants than a Cheech and Chong movie, and it's all because of my laziness. On the first day I'll water and coddle, on the second day I'll just water, and on the third day I drink beer. Fourth day usually involves buying more beer and drunkenly pulling up dead plants. So what's a lazy beer connoisseur to do?

Well, for us lethargic gardeners that rent our homes, but consistently search for permanent solution sans permanent solution prices, Book of Joe had an interesting April 13th solution.

From the Picket Fence website:

Watering Made Easy Original Sprinkler System

The easy way to green grass. Here’s a permanent, hidden sprinkler that costs a fraction of the cost of an underground system. Click on your garden hose — no screwing. Sprinkler pops up as it waters up to 70 ft. diameter. Installs quickly and stays in place, adjusted as you set it. Simply mow over it. Includes sprinkler assembly, hose quick-connect, protection shell and cover, twine for determining location and layout guide. $39.95

Definitely more appealing than the temporary set-up of a Yard Camel and I'd honestly consider a purchase, but while I like the idea, I was trying to figure out if there was a way that I could set it up with a greywater reclamation system (remember the Aqus post?).

For instance, take the gray water package units from Brac Systems. It's all well and good from an ambitious standpoint, but tell me if this looks like a renter's set-up...

I'd be happy to invest 10% with our current landlord for its installation, but even if I was a homeowner, this project would daunting in scale alone. So I was wondering...

Given the ease of installation with of a rain catchment barrel, combined with the ease of use of a temporary sprinkler system, compounded with the impermanence of its implementation, given the power of water pressure as a result of gravity, could you hack it to be both eco-friendly AND affordable to the masses? Basically, could you do this...If we're going to utilize gravity to push the water through the pipes, the barrel would most likely need to be a tad bit higher than shown in my shoddy Photoshop rendition. But all in all, I think the concept could work. This way, you wouldn't need to permanently install the application, but could choose where you wanted to use the typically wasted rainwater in your yard or garden.

Version 2.0 attaches to the commode so I'll spare you the stinky details, but you get the point. Anybody want to hack this and tell me how it goes?