It's almost magical that right when you think that you can't deal with the constant dry extreme heat another second, the sky clouds up and douses the desert with monsoon rain. It's a small bit of relief that us desert dwellers have to look forward to during the summer. We are not the only ones who look forward to these strong bursts of rain though, our plants thrive on monsoon rains.
Unfortunately the monsoon season only lasts a relatively short period of time. One way to try to make it last a little bit longer and stretch out the use of the rich monsoon water is with the use of rain barrels or any other water capturing and storage system. One good storm can fill a rain barrel pretty quickly, and the water can be used over the next few days for your home garden. Rain water is much better than city water for plants because rain water doesn't have the high levels of chlorine and contains more of the nutrients that plants need.
At Rhibafarms we don't use traditional water capturing devices, but we do have many square feet of aquaponics troughs and tanks that collect the rain water and add it to our already energized water system. It's a great boost to our system and it means that we have to add even less outside water to our closed loop. Our crops that we have planted traditionally in soil out at the ranch house in Gilbert are really loving these monsoon rains. Even the chickens are excited about the rain as it cools off chicken town a few degrees. We hope you are enjoying the monsoons too and we hope that a little rain won't keep you away from tomorrows farmers markets!