The students at Clara Mohammed School wanted to learn all about water and conserve as much as they could. Barbara of Miami-Dade County’s Cooperative Extension Office heard our call and came to see us!
To help us conserve water, we purchased 2 rain barrels for the school garden. The students were excited to paint them with fresh ideas and inspiration they gained from Barbara’s presentation!
Rain barrels help conserve water because they limit the need to use tap water for the garden. To make the most of every drop, we will attach a drip irrigation system to the rain barrel. Rain barrels also contribute to healthier, more nutrient-rich water for the plants than if we used tap water. Chlorine, fluoride or any other unnatural additives normally found in city water won’t pose a problem for us (we do hope that the atmosphere the rain clouds form in is clean too).
Since the school building doesn’t have any rain gutters, we asked Miami Dade County to remove the tops of the rain barrels. A wider opening means we can collect more water. We covered the openings on top with a screen mesh to keep the barrel from becoming a mosquito breeding ground.
The rain barrel is elevated on two concrete blocks. The drip irrigation system is a low pressure, gravity based system, so the higher we raise the barrel, the better!
1. Miami-Dade Cooperative Extension Office focuses on helping people garden in South Florida! Visit their very informative website at http://miami-dade.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garden/communitygarden.shtml