By Madie Murray
A huge cheer went up from those watching when it was finally in place.
Just in time to catch the first rains of winter off the school playground roof, the rainwater tank for the school garden was delivered Tuesday. It was pushed upright onto its base on Thursday and will be permanently installed to begin catching rain on Saturday!
There are a lot of people to thank for this first phase of the catchment system: Dave Abrams who contributed the money to purchase the tank and is helping us with the delivery system as well; our great school maintenance guys, who built the base where the tank is placed, and the generous people at Orcas Excavating who contributed the use of the forklift. It would not have happened without all of you!
Next, a trench will be dug and a 2” pipe run from the tank to the tool shed where it will be hooked up to a
pump. By late October or early November, Ezra Richardson will be helping us grade and terrace the enlarged garden area. Then a delivery system of drip irrigation and sprinklers will be run from the pump out into the garden in phases as the garden watering needs develop.
In addition to the Abrams contribution, this project is being paid for with help from grants from the Orcas Island Garden Club, the Orcas Island Master Gardeners, and a reimbursement grant from the Washington State Conservation Commission which was arranged for our project by Danna Kinsey who works for the San Juan Islands Conservation District and was a former student of our great public school.
The new rainwater catchment system will be a great study for students from environmental studies in High School to learning about sustainability in the Farm to Classroom Project.
Those attending our free Farm to Cafeteria Celebration on October 13 will see the new tank when they tour the garden and enjoy an incredible scratch-cooked lunch made by our incredible school cafeteria staff. See more of the particulars about this event at www.orcasislandf2c.org. Hope we see you there!