As part of the co-op’s partnership with Desert Harvesters we hosted a workshop on November 1st in which local rainwater harvesting expert, Brad Lancaster, taught us how to harvest rainwater, air-conditioning condensate, and stormwater to irrigate native perennial food plants.
We learned how to use bunyips-simple water levels, and how to shape earthworks-landscaping features that direct and capture the flow of water. We also learned where to place trees to maximize summer shade and winter sun. Finally, we applied our knowledge by constructing the earthworks for and planting eight native trees at the entrance to our garden, alongside our kitchen’s walk in cooler, and between the staff parking lot and Hoff building. They may be tiny now, but one day they will grow to provide glorious shade as well as edible pods.
We are grateful to Trees for Tucson whose team worked against a tight deadline and came through with eight great quality trees for us, 3 Velvet Mesquites, 2 Desert Ironwoods, 2 Foothills Palo Verde and 1 Blue Palo Verde. When you are ready to plant in your own yard, Trees for Tucson is a great resource for low cost shade trees!
Today we got our first rain since the planting. Look how the earthworks are directing and holding the rain right where the trees can use it! It’s hard to see in the photos, but the basins are full of rainwater!