Water is a precious commodity in the desert. So, we conserve it carefully in our gardens. Right now our garden has only one 700 gallon tank (shown above) to collect rainwater from the roof of an adjacent building. One inch of rain on that 90’ by 40’ roof would collect 2,244 gallons— if we had the holding tank capacity to store it.
The average rainfall in Palomas is about 10 inches per year. Most rain comes in the summer. When it does rain, we’d like to maximize the amount of water we can collect and store.
If we don’t have rainwater, we have to use town water. That’s not a good option. Municipal water is high in salts, arsenic and nitrates. And we have to pay for it. For those reasons, we prefer to water our gardens with rainwater.
Proposed New Tanks
We’d like to build two new, bigger storage tanks. Each proposed tank is 8 feet in diameter and could hold 3,000 gallons of water. Our current tank fills up fast when it rains. And, it has no overflow system. But, each of the proposed new tanks would have an overflow system that could send any excess water through underground pipes. They would serve two of our greenhouses as well as water fruit trees on the property.
We propose tanks built of latex cement. This is a more sustainable material than either cement or plastic. It strengthens our commitment to sustainable technology techniques.
With this new capacity for storage, we could collect almost half of the water we use in our gardens in a year.
Seed Money Challenge
We have an opportunity to raise the money for this project through an exciting program called the Seed Money Challenge. Another 501(c)3—or nonprofit—organization named SeedMoney, offers this program. Their mission is to help “healthy and environmentally-friendly public food gardens across the US and around the world to start up and thrive.” They ask for our supporters to donate to demonstrate that the need is authentic. Thankfully, one generous Border Partners donor will first match whatever contributions we receive for the new tanks. With that sum, we can compete to receive up to $1,000 in awards from the Seed Money Challenge.
If you might help with this effort to improve our gardening program and save water, visit our Seed Money Challenge Donation Page here:
And thank you so much for your support of Border Partners’ efforts to help families in Palomas eat more healthy vegetables and make our gardens more sustainable.