Urban Farming & Rain Water Irrigation Project


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We documented the construction of a rain water capture irrigation system, raised beds for square foot farming, composting, soil amendments, natural pest control, and more. There are basic concepts and instructions you can use to create your own natural vegetable garden. With a little work and a lot of patience, you can provide food for yourself and your family and friends in a very small area. Box gardens can reduce your grocery bills, provide fresh healthy food, and provide hours of fun.

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Urban Farming & Rain Water Irrigation Project

  1. 1. Rain Water Capture & Irrigation And Urban Farming Project
  2. 2. Rain Barrels <ul><li>Rain barrels can be recycled ’food grade’ barrels </li></ul><ul><li>Cost between $25-50 </li></ul><ul><li>Can be found on-line </li></ul><ul><li>Should have threaded bunghole on covers </li></ul><ul><li>Usually hold about 55 gallons each </li></ul>
  3. 3. Elevate the barrels <ul><li>Find a place where the gutter meets a downspout </li></ul><ul><li>Measure enough room to place barrel at gutter end </li></ul><ul><li>Build a treated platform so barrels fit as high as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Leave space for plumbing </li></ul>
  4. 4. Add as many barrels as you want for maximum storage <ul><li>We used concrete footers under 4”x4”posts </li></ul><ul><li>Platform 2”X6” ledger was attached to the exterior wall with lag bolts </li></ul><ul><li>4-5 inches were measured between 2”x6” treated floor boards to accommodate pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Use galvanized screws </li></ul>
  5. 5. One inch of water on a 1000 s.f. roof = 600+ gal.
  6. 6. Place barrels top down <ul><li>Align bung holes to spaces between floor slats </li></ul><ul><li>Makes sure to leave space for 3” PVC </li></ul><ul><li>We made vertical posts to attach a ‘surround’ to hide the barrels </li></ul>
  7. 7. Plumbing for Irrigation <ul><li>We created an irrigation system and a drinking water system in one </li></ul><ul><li>First we plumbed the first barrel to gravity feed across the yard to the planter area </li></ul>
  8. 8. Plumb the barrels together <ul><li>Barrels are plumbed in series with trap for sediment filtration between each barrel. Specialized filters can be added-up to 2 per barrel to create potable or bottled quality water. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Plumbing features <ul><li>Irrigation lines are plumbed to first intake barrel so that irrigation cycle back-flushes filters for the rest of the system. </li></ul><ul><li>An automatic timer with a moisture sensor can be added to automate drip irrigation watering of garden boxes or plantings. </li></ul><ul><li>Filtered and drinking water are accessed from the last barrel in the series allowing it maximum settling and sediment removal through the filtration system. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sediment Filtration <ul><li>GE Profile SmartWater Ultra Plus FQROMF Reverse Osmosis Membrane </li></ul><ul><li>This is a Genuine GE Reverse Osmosis Membrane </li></ul><ul><li>The FQROMF is used on the &quot;Twist and Lock&quot; Reverse Osmosis Filter System and measures 8.5 inches x 2 inches. The FQROMF Reverse Osmosis Membrane is used on the following GE SmartWater reverse osmosis water filter systems including: </li></ul><ul><li>PXRQ15 PXRQ15F PNRQ15 PNRQ15F PNRQ20 PNRQ20F PNRQ20FWW PNRQ15FBL </li></ul><ul><li>The GE UltraPlus FQROMF Reverse Osmosis System Membrane uses &quot;Twist & Lock&quot; technology. No tools are required to change this membrane. </li></ul><ul><li>The GE UltraPlus FQROMF Reverse Osmosis System Membrane removes: 99.9% of Asbestos 96.0% of Arsenic 99.2% of Barium 98.4% of Cadmium 96.8% of Chromium (VI) 99.3% of Chromium (III) 98.8% of Copper 99.99% of Cysts 98.5% of Lead 99.37% of Particulates (Class I) 96.98% of Chlorine 94.1% of Selenium 92.0% of TDS 99.8% of Turbidity 88.7% of Bicarbonate 72.0% of Chloride 99.3% of Magnesium 80.9% of Nitrate 80.9% of Nitrite 75.0% of Sodium 98.2% of Sulfate 92.1% of Tannin 96.0% of Zinc </li></ul>
  11. 11. Using Filters <ul><li>You can filter: </li></ul><ul><li>Sediment only - Irrigation </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy metals - Flush </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse osmosis - Drink </li></ul><ul><li>Flush systems save drinking water </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking water purification means you always have water in an emergency </li></ul>
  12. 12. Run Irrigation from barrels to planter boxes
  13. 13. Run Drip Irrigation in Boxes
  14. 14. Urban Box Farming
  15. 15. The Square Foot Method <ul><li>In a 4’x4’ area you can grow enough food for one person for one year </li></ul><ul><li>By dividing your box into square feet you can maximize productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Your crops will rotate in the box depleting your soil less </li></ul><ul><li>You maximize the variety of food you grow </li></ul>
  16. 16. Planting in Boxes <ul><li>Planting in boxes allows you to: </li></ul><ul><li>Control pests </li></ul><ul><li>Create the optimum soil and drainage conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Control weeds </li></ul><ul><li>Makes it easier on your back </li></ul>
  17. 17. Materials can vary …
  18. 18. Compost <ul><li>Turn your lawn and leaf debris and food waste into soil </li></ul><ul><li>Go to the dump and get FREE compost </li></ul><ul><li>Organic farms and people with horses give away organic waste </li></ul><ul><li>Seaweed and fish guts add nutrients and can be found on the fishing pier or at the beach </li></ul>
  19. 19. Attach Plastic Liner to Inside of Box
  20. 20. Layer yard waste and compost to fill boxes
  21. 21. Organic Waste, Compost, Ashes
  22. 22. What is Easy to Grow? <ul><li>Tomatoes </li></ul><ul><li>Two beefsteak plants will provide a lot of tomatoes for sandwiches, salads, and spaghetti sauces. One cherry tomato plant will provide hundreds of little tomatoes for snacking and for salads. They can be purchased at garden centers, nurseries, home stores, and even some supermarkets. </li></ul><ul><li>Summer Squash </li></ul><ul><li>A multitude of varieties exist, and all are easy to grow. Options range from buttery yellow varieties of squash and zucchini to the traditional green zucchini. Remember, just plant a few – they’re very prolific. And, pick ‘em when they’re small. Some zucchini can grow to the size of baseball bats, but they’re not very tasty when they’re that big. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  23. 23. More Easy-to-Grow Food <ul><li>Lettuce </li></ul><ul><li>Leaf lettuce is easy to grow, especially early and late in the season. Some leaf lettuce will quickly bolt (get big and produce seed) and get a little bitter in the hot summer. </li></ul><ul><li>Bush Beans </li></ul><ul><li>Beans are easy to grow and very nutritional. The large seeds are easy to handle. </li></ul><ul><li>Spinach </li></ul><ul><li>Spinach is easy to grow, very nutritious, and is somewhat more heat tolerant than lettuce </li></ul><ul><li>Beets </li></ul><ul><li>This root crop is also easy to grow and good for you. Beginners need to be reminded that it is essential to thin the young seedlings so that the remaining plants have enough room to develop. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Square Foot Planting Method
  25. 25. What can grow in a 4’x4’box Marigolds peas Spinach Greens 3 Broccoli Marigolds Lettuce 6 carrots Onions garlic cilantro Spinach Kale 3 Broccoli Herbs Lettuce 6 carrots Garlic rosemary Carrots Radishes sweet peppers Lettuce 6 carrots Peppers Cherry tomatoes Peas Marigolds Beefsteak Tomatoes Lettuce 6 carrots
  26. 26. Supply Your Own Food
  27. 27. Fertilizer <ul><li>If your soil is very healthy, it already contains most of the food that your plants will need. A well-balanced organic fertilizer can be added when you plant, and throughout the season. Organic fertilizers break down slowly, providing your plants with a steady nutrient source. Be very careful if you use commercial or chemical fertilizers; it’s easy to overdo it. Too much chemical fertilizer will actually kill your plants. This “overfeeding” is often called “burning” the plants*. </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, the best long-term solution for creating healthy, vital soil is to continuously add compost. If you find that you really like the gardening hobby, you’ll probably want to start your own compost pile, if you haven’t already. </li></ul><ul><li>*Many chemical weed killers work by over-stimulating plants so that they “grow themselves to death.” </li></ul>
  28. 28. Weeds and Bugs <ul><li>If you garden, you’re going to encounter weeds and bugs. The best treatment for weeds is prevention, lots of mulch will significantly reduce weed growth. Just be sure that your mulch doesn’t prevent water from penetrating into the soil. </li></ul><ul><li>The issue of bugs is more complex. Some bugs are good, some are bad. The best overall solution is to spray a natural pesticide that will attack the bad bugs without killing the good bugs. My favorites are Pyola® and Bulls-Eye™; both are environmentally responsible. </li></ul><ul><li>Olive oil, baking soda and chili powder are natural pest deterrents and can be sprayed on to prevent bugs and critters from being attracted to your plants. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Happy planting! <ul><li>Need some more questions answered? </li></ul><ul><li>Need help with planning or building your system? </li></ul><ul><li>PLEASE CONTACT US: </li></ul><ul><li>(561) 244-5365 </li></ul><ul><li>www.huntermarks.org </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>