Maintenance and use of drip irrigation at the school garden

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We are in the third year of implementing a school garden at Parr Field.  For the last two years, we had collaborators who were responsible for setting up the drip irrigation system and utilizing the greenhouse.  This year we don’t have the same capacity we had before so we had to take these projects on for ourselves and learn how to do it.  Since time got away from us more so this year than in the past, we are not really using the greenhouse at this time.  But since all the crops are planted, they need water, and we have to get this irrigation system streamlined.

We started by using all the lines and headers we had from last year.  But over the winter many lines had leaks and some fittings were broken.  The biggest limitation I had to getting this system going was the know-how in addition to the supplies.  I could not find what I needed at the local hardware stores and was feeling frustrated that I might have to place an internet order without really knowing what I might need or might be getting.  But then I found this local business in town that I have to let people know about in case they are in the same situation that I was.  The people at Earthgoods really helped me understand what I needed and what was possible and gave me a discount on top of that!  I recommend this business for anyone in the Taos area who needs drip irrigation or even hydroponic supplies.  The contact info is as follows:

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20140612-064200-24120388.jpg It was great to see our irrigation system running smoothly with no leaks after just a couple of hours of maintenance.  The chile plants, I am sure, were particularly happy as one of our four rows was not able to enjoy water until now.  We lost some of the chile plants that could not tolerate the water stress in waiting, but now we know which ones are most resilient and will use those for our seed stock next year…  Now that we are getting confident at setting up drip irrigation, it is likely our agricultural operations will begin to grow in another wave of expansion with the coming years…

 

 

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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