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RE: water for gardens

  • Subject: RE: [cg] water for gardens
  • From: "Jim Call" <jimcall@casagarden.com>
  • Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 16:46:49 -0500
  • Importance: Normal

Water is essential. 
The 1st year I took over the CASA Community Garden, we had no water.  The summer of 95 was one of the hottest on record.  During the month of July, we received no rain.  Not a drop. The temps were in the 90's and approaching 100 every day.  During the week, I used to fill up three or four 33 gal trashcans with water, then handwater as many plants as possible before going to work.  Our harvest was 5800 lbs.  The next year, with a water source, our harvest rose to 9800 lbs. 
My advice....   locate the nearest source of water.  I'm assuming, it is a water main servicing either the suburb or park.  Measure the distance from where you wish your CG meter to be placed to the main.  Contact Cleveland's Water Dept and have a rep meet you at the CG to discuss the possiblility of connecting up to their main.  In Huntsville, its 350 bucks to have a meter installed (within a few feet of the source). 
In our case, the water source was across a 4 lane highway 400 yards from our garden.  The city had to bore a hole underneath it to install a meter on our side of the road.  The total cost was $1000.00 to pay for the meter installation, 1" PVC pipes to the CG and water connection.  A local church donated the monies to pay for these expenditures.  The city was very generous.
A certified plumber volunteered his expertise to hook the meter (required by city) to the garden.  I noticed a company laying down electrical conduit for street lighting near the garden.  I smooth talked (Adam would be proud) the company to dig a trench for the water pipe from the meter to the CG.  No cost here.
2nd Option.  Short Term Only.  Trailer water to site.  Water weighs 8.5 lbs per gallon.  I priced a 225 gal tank at our Tractor Supply Company at $279.00.  A 1/2 Ton Pickup couldn't handle this weight unless its trailered.  A 8' by 6' trailors cost between 550 to 750 bucks.  If you go with a water tank, you will need either a gas or electrical powered pump to pump the water.  An electrical one runs about 80 bucks (hooks up to a car battery).  Cheapest option here. Connections to the pump and tank runs about $15.  Now the price of water.  Where is it coming from?  If its from a residential source, this could be expensive to irrigate a CG.  If you could get a meter used for non-residenial rates, this would be cheaper.  Our garden was metered to a "irrigation" rate meter. Our cost was about 300 bucks per season (1/3 acre garden).  Of course, our utilities are cheap compared to the average U.S. (never heard of a southerner retire and move to NYC or Cleveland, OH). 
Weigh all your options, call a meeting of the minds, make a plan, then....  go for it.
 -----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Lynn M. Gregor
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2004 9:34 AM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] water for gardens


I am working with a garden that is developing in Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.  They have no access to water and the fire department will not allow them to access the fire hydrants (as they do in Cleveland).  The site is not in between houses but near a park.  Long term they may get more help from the city - but in the short term, they have no water.

Any ideas on getting water to their site??? 

If you know of any large water tanks, where can you get them and how much do they cost?  We have a plan for rain barrels but there is no downspout nearby to collect from could be problematic because West Nile Virus from mosquitoes is a big concern around here.

Any suggestions you have would be very helpful and much appreciated.

Thanks for your time!

Lynn Gregor
Program Coordinator
Community Gardening
Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga Co.

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