Water in Plain Sight
Judith D. Schwartz
St Martin’s Press July 2016
Water in Plain Sight is another engaging informative work from Judith D Schwartz. It furthers many of the issues she explored in her 2013 book Cows Save The Planet, alongside discussing some very timely new topics.
In Water in Plain Sight we learn many disturbing and essential to understand accounts about how our global history of violence towards our planet, in the form of agricultural practices, hunting and deforestation are drastically altering access to water. Then contributing to the destruction of our land and communities via political turbulence, discrimination, conflict and suffering on massive scales.
Judith takes us on a journey around the globe, Zimbabwe, Mexico, California, Ohio, Texas, Western Australia and introduces us to a wonderfully diverse group of people who are demonstrating some amazing ways of how they are re-engaging with the natural cycles of water, particularly in slowing water cycles down. In turn these scientists, farmers and caretakers of land tell the stories of soil, water and community regeneration through their practices.
The most powerful message I gained from Judith’s book though, is that drought is due to how soil holds and moves water, rather than a lack of rainfall, and that this flow and cycle is crucial to take into account in combating climate change.
Schwartz’s writing style as an Investigative Journalist, as in Cows Save The Planet, cleverly connects a huge amount of widely researched material which links the personal and the political. She ensures that the messages in her work are accessible to all of us, regardless of how much we already know about global water/drought subjects.
Reading and then rereading Schwartz’s work has again given me inspiration to make some very real positive changes in our communities and lands. I can recommend it to all. Water in Plain Sight provides us with motivation and hope, in the form of a whole global toolbox of solutions to actively heal our planet with.
As a way of healthily coping with the aftermath of Thursday's EU Referendum vote Ive decided to; learn, do, read or listen to a new solutions focused thing each day. Ive been thinking about creating a solar cooker ever since we arrived in Spain, so I thought I might as well start off my new daily pattern with giving it a go.
As you can see, my equipment isnt complicated. A garden chair, a pan with a glass lid and a foil backed beach mat! I decided as a first meal try to use ingredients that cooked fairly quickly, in order to have more chance at success.
9 am (as the sun was getting hot) - I placed chopped courgettes, whole garlic cloves and chillies, a splash of olive oil, seasoned with salt into the pan, lid on and tilted it within the chair to the sun.
1pm - The pan was too hot to touch. All ingredients were nice and soft - I added some chopped tomatoes, chard, basil and parsley and gave the whole thing a stir. I placed the pan on its bottom and curled the beach mat around its sides a little more to ensure the pan gained maximum benefit from the middle of the day sun. In addition this protected the pan from cooling down as a response to the fairly strong breeze that had arrived.
3.30pm - Everything was cooked perfectly, it smelled and tasted amazing. Cooker dismantled, "summer veggie garden stew" eaten with rice, greek yoghurt and toasted seeds.
And a real success with solar slow cooking - meals created with the pure energy of the sun. I will be using this throughout the summer, trying out many different meals. Like cooking on outdoor fire (which here in Andalucia we cant do in the summer because of wild fire risk), Its such a lovely way to connect further with the rituals of nourishing ourselves and the environment.
regular updates and reflections about the permaculture designs in my life