Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We don't have a water source at the Red Barn Community Farm. We expect to have a 1 inch potable water line in next year, but that won't be enough water for serious irrigation.

There is water down about 5 feet, but the soil doesn't seem to wick the water up to the root zone. Some plants (corn, tomatoes) will send their roots down to that water. Here are two solutions for water:

Rain Barrel: You could install a rain barrel on a stand about 2 ft high -- to get a bit of pressure -- and run drip irrigation to your plants. You'd have to haul water in to fill the rain barrel. I did that for the last two years on Ebey island and it worked OK. I invested in a small 12v pump connected to my truck battery to transfer the water.

Shallow Well: For about $100 you could put in a shallow driven well. You can get the parts (a 1 1/4 inch stainless steel wellpoint, driver cap, one or more pipe couplings and a pitcher pump) at Amazon.com. Several of these simple wells have been installed at the Lowell Community garden and they work very well. They are easy to install and can be removed at the end of the season or left in place for use next year.

This summer, I hope to install examples of each of these at the farm.

1 comment:

  1. A rain barrel has been installed on the Demonstration garden near the entrance to the Red Barn Community Farm area. Watch for it's use.

    Most of the parts for a driven well have been received. The actual well point, the most critical part, was back ordered to the week of July 10.