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Re: Grant $$$ needed

  • Subject: [cg] Re: Grant $$$ needed
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 17:15:00 -0800 (PST)

Hi, Jason,

I've got to agree with John. I had first rate
irrigation training at Cal Poly when I got my Masters
in ag, but at the same time learned that irrigation
systems must be tailored to match specific
agricultural and horticultural needs. Though drip can
have some real advantages, it can also have more than
a few disadvantages, beginning with complexity. I'm
afraid you might really rue the day you installed a
'conventional landscaping' drip system in a community
vegetable garden, grant or no grant.

For your vegetable beds, especially if you use an
allotment system (a person/family tending a specific
plot of 100-400 sq. ft. that is 'theirs' for the year
or the season), I wouldn't recommend a dedicated drip
system, which can be costly, complex, incovenient and
subject to glitches.

Instead, have you considered simply making sure every
plot (or each grouping of a reasonable number of
plots) has a simple standpipe for a hose? Once you
have that, individual gardeners can easily set up
their own drip system (low tech/low cost with soaker
hoses, or something more elaborate - up to them). They
will also be able to sprinkle lightly when germinating
seeds, and hand water if they prefer.

If you are planning to use woody plants to landscape
the borders and public areas of your garden or for an
orchard area, a drip system would certainly make sense
for any of those.

Then again, for border and shared areas of the garden,
I hope you'll also consider xeriscaping, ideally with
native plants. These landscapes are designed for
minimal or no irrigation at all, since they match your
specific ecosystem. People need to see them 'in
reality' before they will adapt them at home. You
might even want to consider xeriscaping for a part of
the hospital grounds.

Another grant-worthy idea might be to check out water
recapture systems, such as rain water harvesting.

Best of luck with your project, I certainly don't want
to rain (so to speak) on your parade. Hospitals and
community gardens can be a wonderful and enduring
partners. I commend you.

btw, if you want to explore drip, I very much like
Robert Kourik's 'Drip Irrigation'. You might also find
Sunset's 'Garden Watering Systems' and 'Reliable Rain'
by Hendrix and Straw helpful. If you can, check around
where you live to see what other community gardens a
doing for watering systems, as well as small scale
vegetable growers.

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte, NC, Zone 7B
(formerly San Luis Obispo, CA)
> Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 12:59:51 -0800
> From: "Jason Bailey" <BailJ@drmc.com>
> To: <community_garden@mallorn.com>
> Subject: [cg] Grant $$$ needed
> We are a non-profit hospital planning a community
> garden on a parcel of land that the hospital owns. 
> I am searching for organizations or foundations that
> might consider granting funds for a drip irrigation
> system.  Does anyone have any suggestions for
> potential funders in California or on a national
> level?
> Jason A. Bailey
> Business & Fund Development
> Delano Regional Medical Center
> 661-721-5607
> www.drmc.com

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