If you’re anywhere near Brooklyn, you know we’ve been getting more than our fair share of rain this month. For the garden, rain is generally a wonderful thing, but it’s frustrating to know that so much of what falls goes more or less unused. New York City is largely paved over (some would consider that an understatement), so when it rains, water runs over impermeable surfaces like asphalt and cement that can’t absorb it. Often it ends up as combined sewer overflow, merging with our waste water and forcing polluted water into NYC rivers.
Recently Prospect Farm became part of the solution to this problem, while also shoring up our own water supplies, enabling us to store rainwater during a shower and use it later when we need it. We installed a rainwater harvesting tank!
The tank, located on an adjacent property that belongs to the Farm’s founder, can hold up to 155 gallons of rainwater. It is fed by rain gutters that connect to the rooftop of the property. About 500 gallons of rainwater can be collected from a 1,000 square-foot roof when we receive an inch of rainfall, so the tank can easily be filled by a decent rain shower (more info here). The tank, in turn, is connected to a hose that reaches to the garden. (The tank is raised on a platform to provide water pressure.)
So far, our garden seems to love the harvested rainwater (as does the water bill!). Good thing, too, since it looks like there’s plenty more headed our way.
Here are the numbers from harvest week 6 (August 7-13):
Tomatoes: 24 lbs
Cherry tomatoes: 10 lbs
Cucumber: 3.75 lbs
Kale: 2.25 lbs
Collard greens: 1 lb