After struggling through the driest spring for a century, and resorting to buying fresh water from the mains to irrigate our crops, we are pleased to announce that work is set to start on a new irrigation system for our market garden. The new system will feature a one million litre rain fed reservoir, a solar powered pumping system, and a low pressure, gravity fed drip distribution, making it efficient in water and energy use, and giving us the ability to increase our fruit and vegetable production into the uncertain climate of the future. The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Local Food scheme.
Having failed to find a simple 'how to build a small scale, low energy irrigation system on flat land using small scale renewable power' instructable on the internet, we designed the system ourselves. A big thank you to Colin at Allan Collyer & Sons Ltd, Matt at Energy Development Co-operative, Richard at Wind and Sun and Darran Grieveson at New Leaf Irrigation for all their invaluable help.
While the reservoir will be dug by our local drainage contractor, the rest of the work of installing the system will be carried out by ourselves and our wonderful volunteers. There will be opportunities to get stuck in during all parts of the project. There's a whole lot of digging to do to lay the pipes, and rearrange the rabbit fence. We're going to move or rebuild our shed and install the low voltage electric system. And of course there's a lot of field plumbing and the inevitable problems to solve.
Please get in touch to volunteer.