Catching rain


A workshop on Saturday will teach Bainbridge gardeners how to go easy on their pocketbooks and the island’s aquifers while satisfying the thirst of vegetables and flowers.
Read on for the details…..

Spring rain for summer gardens
By Tristan Baurick

Bainbridge gardeners can prepare for a dry summer by stocking up now on spring showers.

A coalition of conservation groups is sponsoring a Saturday workshop on how to design and install rainwater catchment systems that can feed gardens throughout the summer.

“Pumping precious water out of our aquifers for watering our gardens can be expensive, particularly for residents using limited city water supplies,” said Cyndi Merritt, a member of the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council. “Why not capture excess rainwater that otherwise flows off paved surfaces into Puget Sound? Then you can water your plants in the dry season, and help recharge groundwater aquifers at the same time.”

Garden watering accounts for a large increase in city water usage on the island every year, according to the watershed council. A catchment system connected to a typical home’s roof can gather over 620 gallons of runoff from an inch of rainfall.

Workshop attendees can view 3,000-gallon rain cisterns at different stages of installation while learning about the overall process, including a gravity-feed system that can distribute water to gardens.

For several weeks after the workshop, attendees can place orders for the cisterns, which cost about $1,000 each when ordered in bulk.

Sponsored by the watershed council, the Bainbridge Permaculture Guild and an ad-hoc group called DRIP (for Demonstrating Rainwater Irrigation Possibilities), the $25 workshop is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. at a home on New Sweden Road. The address and other details will be given to people who sign up for the workshop.

To register, email the watershed council: