The Black Mountain Community Garden serves the Town of Black Mountain in three ways: first it provides nearly 4000 pounds of vegetables to the valley's soup kitchens and food pantries, secondly it provides volunteer and educational opportunities for area college, high school and elementary students, and thirdly it provides a place for local citizens to grow food for their families.
Water is currently siphoned from the bordering Swannanoa River via a gasoline powered engine. Although water quality is reasonably good, during times of drought such as Western North Carolina has experienced in the past year, our water use puts a drain on the river. Also, the gas powered engine is costly to repair and a poor use of resources. Finally, although we grow vegetables through the winter months, we can not use the pump due to the danger of the pipes freezing.
We have discovered a way in which to use available resources to gather water: rain water catchment from the nearby Grey Eagle Arena, an indoor soccer center. The arena will be receiving a new roof, compatible with water safety standards for vegetable production. The arena lies uphill from the garden. The Town of Black Mountain has offered to provide labor and pipe if the garden can acquire a water tank.
The arena measures 10,000 square horizontal feet. For every inch of rainfall, one square foot collects .625 gallons of water. The average rainfall in Western North Carolina is about four inches. This would give us approximately 25,000 gallons per month.
The garden's goal is to hook up a tank which will hold between 1000 and 2000 gallons of water with an overflow system. Based on my estimations this should meet the garden's weekly watering needs.