We bought our present home ten years ago. We had just moved to the Eastern Cape and wanted somewhere convenient to our jobs. The property is in a bustling commercial area. The house was built in 1928 on a 714 square metre plot of land. The garden is adequate and manageable for us but there’s no space to waste. The backyard is private and walled which shuts out the bustle of this busy area. It is here that my “urban farming” takes place.
In the ten years we have lived here the garden has gone through various stages of care and growth but generally we have concentrated on a few spinach and lettuce plants, mowed the lawn regularly and tried to keep the shrubs and plants under control. All this with the help of a weekly garden assistant who comes in for a few hours on a Saturday.
A few years ago my husband installed two rain water harvesting tanks. These have been a great asset but I still had trouble watering the garden because of low pressure and the time it took to water all the plants. We both have very busy jobs and don’t have time to stand outside in the evenings letting a trickle of water flow onto the thirsty plants.
Then came the revolution. In January this year when we came back from holiday I was desperate to have the rain water more accessible. Finally hubby installed a submersible pump into one of the tanks nearest the vegetables with the option of pumping water from a second, bigger tank at the front of the house when the first one became low. What a blessing that has been. I have been able to water the plants efficiently and quickly. The garden has become an inspiration and a joy to manage.
Right now both our tanks are very full after a good storm two nights ago. Long may they last. There is no point in trying to grow one’s own vegetables with expensive municipal water. We are blessed to have this resource. We now have a case of, “We have water, let’s grow!”