For the last two years, in addition to the rain that falls on the raised beds, our garden has depended solely on city water. Since we have had access to an unlimited and free supply, this has been very effective. However there is definitely some controversy surrounding City Water, and I am sure we all know of the impacts that chlorine may have on our plants.
Already this spring, many of our gardeners have expressed interest in collecting rainwater. We have three high tunnels, as well as two storage buildings, so we have ample space to harvest from. Our gardeners have also requested buckets to leave by their beds in order to collect rainwater, regardless of the amount.
Tomorrow, we will be hosting our first rain garden/rain barrel workshop, with demonstrations by Master Gardener Ingrid Curry. While it hasn’t happened yet, I thought I would share the resources that I have available regarding rainwater capture. Then, after the workshop I will reflect and let you know how it all works out J
To this blog I have included tw0 resources that we will be using this weekend that you may find useful:
One came from the We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute.
It was created specifically for the high tunnels that we have at our garden, but I imagine those of you that have high tunnels have very similar structures and could come up with a comparable set up. It is a basic system that using PVC that has been in half, to serve as a gutter, that you attach to the side boards of the high tunnel to drain into a rain barrel. They suggest using the large IBC Containers if you have access to them.
The other is the handout we will be using for our workshop this weekend. We are able to find VERY affordable systems at ACE Hardware. We were in contact with an ACE near Charleston WV (St. Albans, actually) and they were selling barrels for only $25, and then a kit to make them operational for only $15 (he put the kit together himself in store) If anyone is interested in what the materials are, please feel free to ask!!
On another note: we started another round of seeds indoors this week. We started some more tomatoes and eggplant seeds and will be putting our cabbage and kohlrabi plants in the high tunnels this weekend!! Pictures to follow.