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My normal service range is from Santa Monica to San Diego but I have installed copper gutters and rainwater harvesting systems in California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and Rwanda.
I have a small but national customer base through my gutter products website @ where I offer rare items such has handmade weather vanes and hand carved and custom family crests for gates cast in aluminum or bronze. Through my websites you can gain knowledge, order products, beautify your home or help grow your business.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rainwater Harvesting for Developing Countries ( on Kindle )

The manual I put together based on our work in Rwanda is being relocated from my blog to Kindle so that we might use the proceeds to assist with more projects in Rwanda.
Please purchase your copy today.
Get the ebook here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Local Restaurants; Grow Your Own Herbs!

There is no better tasting herbs and salads than organic, locally grown edibles. Very few restaurants have zero space to grow herbs outside. Most chains load their green space up with water abusive lawns and tropical vegetation. Why not consider growing fresh herbs and salads on the grounds of the eatery?
It's a growing trend. It's green. It's fresh and it can give your establishment an edge over the competition.
What if we enlarged the scope of our operation to install and maintain organic herb gardens at local restaurants? We have a network with local garden consultants such as Bruce Stephens that could provide knowledge and assistance. I can imagine that the staff at restaurants are too busy to maintain these gardens, but the idea is sound.
A Boston eatery grows fresh herbs seasonally using drip irrigation.

" Fresh culinary herbs have become an important part of southern California's cuisine. Restauranteurs are interested in enhancing the flavor of foods without increasing the foods' caloric, sugar, salt, and cholesterol contents. Local restaurants have led the way in developing and popularizing the use of fresh herbs. This shift to natural flavor enhancers is in keeping with today's lifestyle of healthier, lighter meals. "

Some interesting facts from a 1991 California University Survey;
A minority of restaurants (15.6%) would like to attempt to grow most of their fresh herbs.

Asian restaurants' median weekly purchase (3.8lb. and $37.50/week, both summer and winter) is less than for all other restaurant types. Mediterranean restaurants' expenditure on fresh herbs exceeds that of all other restaurant types ($200.00/week, summer and winter). Mediterranean restaurants purchase a median quantity of 11 lb/week year-round, or spend about $10,000 annually on just fresh herbs.

San Diego and Southern California have an ideal growing climate year round and get more rain than is commonly believed. With the growing trend of shunning GMO crops and favoring locally grown organic food
it seems like common sense to incorporate this practice and make it part of the marketing approach.
Imagine, fresh herbs and salads, grown onsite and irrigated with rain and reclaimed water.
We envision roof top container gardens providing fresh edibles in downtown locations. Patio seating lined with herbs that are harvested daily and consumed and used as garnish. There are attractive architectural designs that can do more than consume space; they can produce food!

With the super expensive water rates why not divert some of the rinse water into a tank and use it to water the edibles between rains? We not allow us to create and maintain edible container gardens in patio seating areas? In this challenging economy I am always seeking paths to revenue streams and this idea came to me as I thought about genetically modified foods, organics and the tough times many small restaurants face as people flock to chains. All businesses need an edge. Grow yours.
Link to California University study: 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rain Tax?

Believe it or not a battle to stop a " rain tax " is going on just past the Orange Curtain to our direct North. A plan to charge as much as one dollar per gallon of storm water run off is being proposed by the county of Los Angeles. A parking lot of a Walmart exceeds 100,000 square feet, which yields 62,400 gallons per inch of rain. If they were not regulating their rainwater runoff to official guidelines that parking lot would generate $624,000.00 a year in fines based on an average rain year in Southern California.
It's as crazy as North Korea announcing recently that they were going to nuke us.
Apparently governments act by threatening as much force as you could imagine, say a nuke, or a dollar per gallon rain tax. Can education stop this aquaclypse?
Instead of threatening business killing taxes to penalize what is essentially poor civic engineering, why not spend money promoting changes in landscape designs that funnel the storm water back into the ground, instead of along to our oceans, full of cigarette butts, garbage and a toxic tea of urban runoff?
Educating landscape architects to work in coordination with civic engineers to totally rethink rainwater and storm water management combined with common sense funding would both spur an economic boom and help solve the problem of urban runoff and ground water depletion. By having construction companies cut bio-swales into streets and curbs in existing infrastructure, million of gallons of water will revert back where it belongs, which is in the ground. Making education about the benefits and capabilities of rainwater harvesting part of government spending will help make rain and grey water use widespread. I believe it should be even mandated in new construction.
If Los Angeles is able to pass any type of a rain tax other cities will follow their lead.
Any new tax, fine or operating cost placed on businesses will be passed on to consumers, or the businesses will cease to exist because they cannot pay the increased demands of the state. The government is saying, " now you got this nice company here, we gotta tax you for the water tax runs down our street when it rains. "
I mean, shouldn't they just follow Arizona's lead and get serious about rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting isn't just about rain barrels, its about the way cities manage storm water. The civic engineers created urban environments where water is not allowed to soak into the ground. The government agencies signed off on it and now they want to tax us for what is essentially ignorance about the way rainwater should be managed.
The system we have depletes the aquifers, which allows salt water from our nearby ocean to seep in, which makes the plants not grow, which makes food more expensive.  
If only I could get people to watch this video. It would help to end The Cycle Of Insanity, and perhaps lead people to consider having a Rainwater System on their home.

The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water from Surfrider Foundation on Vimeo.

Supporting links;

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Home Of The Future

The ideal home of the future, especially in Southern California will be a micro-infrastructure.

The electricity will be provided for by the Sun, and the roof and home will yield enough water to provide for all the exterior water usage. The land not occupied by our homes will either not consume, or it will provide food for our families and neighborhoods

Native vegetation is drought resistant and attracts wildlife like hummingbirds and butterflies.

The time for the ideal of the future is now.

Southern California just got hit by a water balloon, and it burst upon impact. The water supply for FOUR MILLION PEOPLE for a year just evaporated. “In the span of 92 days, we lost out on water that could have been used to supply more than four million people for an entire year. That’s a huge amount of water,” said State Water Contractors General Manager Terry Erlewine.

The ideal home of the future would be built on a raised foundation, such as in this example; 

 All the homes downspouts would lead into a cistern, that was built into the foundation of the home. The entire footprint of the home would be a cistern and the grey water from the home would be filtered before feeding into the storage. Post cistern filtration would be used to render the water potable for use in showers or for cooking and a city water feed would top off the cistern between rains. Solar panels would array the roof producing most of the homes electricity needs and the majority of the landscaping would be edible food gardens or xeriscaped or artificial grass.
In an ideal situation there would be an informal organization in each neighborhood where people discussed what edibles would be grown and how to share the food because as we all know when there is a garden, even a small one, it usually provides more food that can be eaten by one family, so having a co-op of sorts would build up the communities by getting people talking and working together. Such a neighborhood would pay little to nothing for produce, it would help to decentralize food production and the citizens would have fun!

Part of the impact in the story about the water cuts is that it will have a big impact on new home construction in Southern California because if there is no water, there can be no new building. With no construction, the economy can never fully recover. It is socially responsible to not let the water from your roof go to waste. Rain water harvesting is not just a fad or trend; it is a requirement for growth.
Wide spread use of rain water harvesting systems in San Diego and other parts of California will free up potentially billions of gallons of water per year, allowing for economic recovery and growth.

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