The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards
Jan 17
Jan 26 2020
exhibition

What if the tens of thousands of backyards in and around the city are used also to grow food? There could be an abundance of food crop within each local neighbourhood which could bring about stronger communities.

The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigation Planter Bed Initiative is to help promote Urban Agriculture, specifically to help city dwellers with backyards to grow food and to collect rainwater from the roof of their houses. The rainwater is used to water the plants, which is encouraged by the city especially in the older neighbourhoods where sewer and storm drains are connected. The goal is to make common the notion that the installations of rain barrels and sub-irrigated planter beds are common features of every house with a backyard – just as much as having a laundry or dish-washing machine.

The Wooden Rain-barrel Stand is stackable and demountable. It uses only 2”x4” members with 6 legs that can support a full Repurposed Hard Food Grade Barrel of 50 Gallons (450lbs) and lifting it off ground by 11” or to 22” (stacked) to create more gravitational pressure for running a water hose to a planter bed.

Repurposed Halved Barrel Sub-irrigated Planter Beds have water reservoirs at the bottom of the beds usually made from series of weeping tile (perforated with holes) and clothed with a sock or landscape cloth. A filler tube made from repurposed plastic water bottle is used to fill the reservoir. The soil around the perforated reservoir will get wet and the roots of the plants will suck up water up by themselves until the soil is dry.

This system will ease the chore of watering the plants from several times a week to just once a week by filling up the reservoir. According to some estimates by people using sub-irrigation, this method of watering can save up to 60% of water use because water is directly carried to the roots system vs in conventional watering, water is lost in evaporation. The rainwater collected saves on municipal water use, reduces rain runoffs into sewers systems, and is free from any added chemicals.

Other Design Objects here: Prepurposed Yogurt Tubs as Sub-irrigated Planter Pots with Spinning Wooden Based from scrap pieces, Insulated Liquid Compost Bin using Halved Barrel as Compost Tea for use in next Growing Season, Repurposed White Barrel LED Growlight Lantern Furniture Stand Table

Participants
Lowell Lo, Dave Jones
Acknowledgements
The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards
The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards
The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards
The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards
The Rain-barrel and Sub-irrigated Planter Bed Initiative for Suburban Yards