Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
Photo: Journey Worker Productions, CC SA 3.0 (C)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Ollas for watering the garden in a more efficient way

We've had a minor water crisis (water tank is empty, before the hottest month of the year). I will write that up soon. This prompted me to look again at water efficiency and from there to discover this concept of Ollas. 

What is an Olla you ask?

A beginners' short What-are-Ollas video

Ollas (pronounced “oy-yahs”) are unglazed clay/terra-cotta pots buried with neck above ground, filled with water to irrigate plants by directly watering their roots. It is an ancient method, a very efficient use of water. It is claimed that it allows for good management of weeds (I'm dubious - nature doesn't recognise the weed/useful plant distinction; that's a humanism). 'm going to give Ollas a go and see how it goes.

This Australian site has systems for connecting ollas to a rainwater tank, and lots of little bits of irrigation equipment - eg. hoses to water vertical gardens etc. Very intriguing indeed.

An excellent guide to making ollas:

The site has all sorts of sustainability stuff on it - a couple in Sydney who have been doing sustainability for years.

Other things that I've discovered and want to track down:

Self Sufficiency in a Flat – Joy O. I. Spoczynska – Wildwood House Ltd (UK) 1980 ISBN 0 7045 0214 3 – 
The Australian Self Sufficiency Bible – Ken Fin Books (AUS) 1999 ISBN 0 7343 0111 1 – This big book is a collection of articles originally printed in Earth Garden Magazine 1972 to 1991.

The Potters’ Alternative – Harry Davis –Methuen (AUS) 1987 – ISBN 0 454 0113 X

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