Rooted in Hope’s drip irrigation system at work!
We were so happy to have two awesome people from Rooted in Hope here last week! Rooted in Hope is a small-but-mighty NGO that works to provide rural communities in the developing world with environmental education, resources for reforestation, and other projects related to agriculture and water. They were in Berlín to help the communities of Casa de Zacate and Los Yánez install inexpensive, low-maintenance, high-quality drip irrigation systems.
Our collective hope is that these irrigation systems will help these communities to collectively grow and harvest vegetables (and possibly basic grains) even when it isn’t raining. The farmers of rural Berlín are incredibly vulnerable to climate change because they are entirely dependent on rain-fed agriculture to cultivate their corn and beans. These basic grains are not only the primary food source for almost all of Berlín’s families, but selling them at the market is the farmers’ only source of income. We are hoping that drip irrigation systems like the ones Rooted in Hope helped to install will help these communities to diversify what they can grow and when they are able to grow it!
Thanks to Casa de Zacate and Los Yánez for all their excellent organization and our new friends at Rooted in Hope, Katie and Zach, who made the trip all the way from Denver, Colorado. Be sure to check out their website here to learn more about what they’re doing all over the world.
The folks from Casa de Zacate prepare to assemble their two new drip-irrigation systems.
The drip kits are easy to assemble; all you have to do is connect the tubes together following some simple instructions. Even kids can participate!
(When they aren’t having their picture taken, that is.)
After connecting the smaller tubes together, you then stake the lines into the ground so that they don’t shift around too much. This is important, given that these drip kits are designed to give water directly to the roots of each plant. This conserves lots of water!
These drip kits function via gravity–no pumps, no electricity. The smaller lines of tubes are connected to the larger principal line, which is connected to a 10-gallon tank. The tank has a valve, which can be opened and closed to turn the water on and off. Each tank has enough water in it to water plants twice a day for at least a week–it is incredibly efficient.
The community can also control the amount of water that comes out of each “dripper” by simply tightening or loosening the wire nuts at the ends. Simple, practical, highly functional, and inexpensive.
Katie explains how to play “Bingo” to the children of Casa de Zacate. It was a fun way to provide some fun environmental education!
Reina of Los Yánez waters some pepper plants with a water bottle. We’re hoping to make their dream of having a small farming co-op easier to manage–with these drip-irrigation systems, farmers will no longer have to water each plant by hand.
En Los Yánez, we installed the system on a steeper hill. It still worked just fine after we played around with it a bit!