Our Video at Etheridge Farm, the Drought, and Rain Barrels….

JR Organics has yellow squash for us, for this Sundays farm box. It’s unexpected this early, exciting for our bellies, and at the same time, a call to our attention about the sunny winter we just had.

During last years beautiful and sunny winter in January 2014, we visited Etheridge Farms to learn more about the effects the drought was having on his farm, and get his insights. It was sprinkling when we got there, which was nice, but he lightly joked, saying, “it’s kind of like going to a bar and getting flirted with, no big deal. It’s not going to do that much good, it really isn’t. It’s a good start, yes. It hasn’t rained since December 7th, that’s 54 days by the way. This is not really rain, this is more or less a trinkle.”

It didn’t do much to help with their water situation. Gene and his family have been working on building a deeper well since that winter, which has slowed their plans to start their organic vegetable farm, as well as causing a few challenges with some of the fruit.

Gene Etheridge has been growing organic fruit for over 30 years, his wisdom, passion, and excellent fruit has compelled us to stand by him for years, supporting his farm every week.


Before the drought, I had collaborated with Gene about some of the exciting heirloom vegetables we would like them to grow for our farm boxes. Those plans have really slowed, due to the drought. On the lighter side, it seems that more people are growing gardens at home and in their communities, like the Kiss the Ground project in Venice.

Click here to see our video with Gene.  

Which brings us to rain barrels. It’s the first day of Spring, and we’ve spent most of the day planting veggies in our garden, from the heirloom seeds we started. It’s not too late, or too early to get prepared and get our rain barrels from Aquatopanga, for next winters rain. We’ll need them.

As Gene said, “I don’t think it’s a water problem, I think it’s how we use the water, so we need to find a way to be very efficient.”

barrel in situ

Aquatopanga is a new supplier of rain barrels, which was set up in frustration when faced with the difficulty of finding quality rain barrels locally.

They have a stock of recycled rain barrels that qualify for rebates and will help you claim up to 100% of the cost. Mention SavRaw when you contact them for a $10 discount on each barrel.

Also, if you share this post and refer your friends, you’ll get a $10 credit on your SavRaw account for each barrel your friend buys. Have them mention your name when they contact Aquatopanga.



or call 805-231-7420

Drought has become a fact of life here in SoCal, which makes gardening all the more of a challenge. Just last week, LA county announced that it is going to enforce watering restrictions and fine people who water more then twice a week. However, there is hope at the end of the dry tunnel – rebates are now available to help gardeners conserve water in rain barrels for next to nothing. Nearly all water companies and most cities offer rebates to enable you to install up to 4 rain barrels per household – these barrels attach directly to your downspout so your whole roof becomes a rain zone collection zone, resulting in gallons of water from the slightest drizzle.

Here’s another short clip with Gene, about growing our own food. 


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