Last week, Williamson had the pleasure of hosting a lively bunch of volunteers from Appalachian State University, which is in North Carolina. The group came as part of their Alternative Spring Break and have spent the week working specifically on local food projects, including the Williamson community gardens and the Mingo County Orchard.
In coordination with their visit, we decided to utilize their strength and numbers to construct our first drip irrigation system at the Williamson community gardens. Needless to say, this group came at the perfect time!
After months of wasteful watering with hoses, and long volunteer water hours, it was finally decided that it was time to buy a more efficient system to be used in the two high tunnels at the Williamson community garden. This also marked our first purchase of 2013 using Grow Appalachia funding.
After looking at different options, it seemed that a drip tape system would be the right fit for our community gardens. The system was purchased from Grower’s Supply (and was very affordable), and was completely installed last week while the volunteers in town!
Volunteers worked for approximately two hours to lay rows of drip tape through each of our two high tunnels (8 rows in each tunnel). With 11 volunteers, it did not take too long for it to be installed.
After this was completed, the volunteers worked to fertilize and turn the dirt in our 24 raised gardening beds. After only one year in production, there is a noticeable difference in the quality of our dirt in the raised beds. Initially, it consisted of many clay particles, but after a year of love, the soil tests came out extremely well this time around. We couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of our volunteers and without the manure donated from local farmers!
A very productive and successful week at the Williamson Community gardens for sure!