Earlier this year, in April to be exact, I visited the Woodward Gardens at Mary Woodward Elementary School in Tigard. At the time, Jo Noren (one of Mary Woodward’s two garden coordinators) and I came up with a plan to irrigate an out-of-the-way tomato bed using Ollas. It seems that even in a garden with a great drip system there is always one area that is just beyond the sprinkler system’s reach.
Well, this week we had a chance to put our plan into action. Luckily, we had lots of help from the 5th grade Ambassador’s group.
Jo and Nancy Ross (the second garden coordinator) explained that the Ambassador’s program incorporates community service into the fabric of school life. As part of their community service, these students sometimes work in the garden.
So, after their lunch I gave a brief, 10-minute slideshow explaining how Ollas work. And then we headed out to the garden to install two Ollas, which have been donated to the school by Dripping Springs Ollas.
I wish I could say that we all spent the afternoon out in the Oregon sunshine, because it was a lovely day. But…proving that Ollas are amazingly easy to install…the children dug the holes, buried the Ollas, and filled the water reservoirs in just about 15 minutes. And then it was back to class for them, and back to work for the rest of us.
At this point, I’ve installed Ollas in three different school gardens: Sunnyside Environmental in Portland, the Transitions School in Beaverton and now, Mary Woodward in Tigard. I plan to check back with all three schools for garden updates. So stay tuned!