What has been -
Rain! From the sky, just like people talk about happening and you see in the movies. As of this morning, the garden has received about and inch and a half of rain since this Sunday. We are thankful.
We have, in spite of our recent good fortune, begun to make peace with the fact that it is hot and dry here. After our acceptance of this fact, the logical next step is to try to figure out how to continue to grow good things even though we are in a rough spot. Lots of Christian allegories in that. I don’t want to beat you over the head with the obvious, but I’ll give you a moment to run with them if you wish.
We already are pretty water savvy, using drip irrigation and all. But apparently there is a new technique in arid climate irrigation. And by new, I mean hundreds of years old. (Oh No, I accidentally wandered into one of my pet peeves – there are many people that love the “ways of ye olden times”. These proponents of the ancients can be heard extolling the wisdom and knowledge of days gone, “they sure knew more about how to live back then, when things were simpler”. Spare me. They thought the earth was flat, life expectancy was like 20 years and I understand those 20 years were rough. But in this exception, and I know there are many others, they had a good idea going that we have forgotten for too long) The concept – Ollas!
The name Olla is originally from the latin for pot. (Thank you to five years of latin? No. Thank you to wikipedia.) The idea is that terracotta wicks moisture. If you bury an otherwise water-tight, non-glazed terracotta vessel in the soil, it will slowly “leak” water into said soil. It does this at a rate that the plants can use well and without evaporation. Amazing! It gets better – the correct pronunciation (at least in this garden) is “Oh-yaa”! You have to say it like you are 50% Castillian and 50% Norwegian and 100% very excited.
There are purpose made ollas on the market. But they aren’t super available and are less fun than making your own. We bought four pots, two little saucers (to cover the bottom drain holes) and one little tube of silicone caulk. We (Ben) put them together like so -
Olla, with Ben high stepping in the back ground
Because we are men, we made them too big. Then we paid for our mistake by having to dig too-big holes -
Seth “Detroit” Henry earning his keep. You can’t see it here, but his shirt had his nickname on the front. Glad to see him buying in.
We plunked those ollas in the ground, surrounded them by various peppers and basil, put the mulch on top and then filled them up with water.
the rock on top is more than aesthetic, it is to stop evaporation.
Instant Generalized Awesomeness! (It’s a core value)
Our harvest -
Not too shabby. With me, back in tennis shoes.
What is yet to be -
Michele Rifee is coming out again this week. And again this week, we thank her for giving of her time.
- No watering! Not even the new ollas. Relax, they will get their turn.
- The three constants – harvest, weed and pray!