Last Tuesday, we went to The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. It had all kinds of fun and educational activities. The house they used for an office once belonged to a Pony Express rider!
We saw the front yard. It soaked up the water in the dirt and used it to grow their plants. We learned the asphalt on normal driveways sends water down into the gutter and goes into the ocean. That is wasteful. The backyard of the center also does the same.
To water their plants, they use tubs to collect rain. They only use water from a hose when needed. They showed ways to save water that I and many people don’t know about. For example:
- Food with meat takes much more water than food without. The farmers have to use the water for the animals to drink and so on.
- Soda takes more water to make than water to drink! That is because in creating the cans and watering the sugar cane it takes water.
- Purchasing a used t-shirt is better than a new one. That is because you have to water the cotton plants.
Next, we saw a broken machine. With you pedaling, the machine was supposed to send water through some pipes and make it rain by sending water through grooves in the roof. Instead, we watered the plants.
In the greenhouse, they use a method called aquaponics. It has small clay balls so they didn’t have to water the soil. That system was an aquaponic garden. The way it works:
“Aquaponics is, at its most basic level, the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in water and without soil) together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides organic food for the growing plants and the plants naturally filter the water in which the fish live.” – Mother Earth News
After that, we visited their chickens. We also saw how they make compost. One of the ways was they use worms to eat their leftover food, and the worm dung makes good fertilizer. Their other way is they let their organic trash rot into soil. This is called composting.
Before we left, I put limes under the tires of our car. It didn’t wreck anything, but it was funny. Overall, the field trip was quite fun.