25 Mar

Building a siphon irrigation system

siphon gravity irrigation system

We planted about 30 fruit and nut trees in the fall of 2013. These are young trees from a local nursery.¬†In this part of Portugal, summers get very hot and dry. It may not rain for 4-5 months and temperatures can exceed 40 Celsius on a regular basis. Young fruit and nut trees or berry bushes with shallow root systems probably won’t survive without irrigation.¬†Fortunately there are a number of old stone-lined wells on the land. Most of them are still usable, and full of water. The others will need to be cleaned. This particular irrigation system takes advantage of the varied topography of the land. What we devised is a large siphon. The main garden/orchard is about 15 -18 vertical meters below one of the larger wells on the land, an ideal setup for a siphon. So in March 2014 my friend Alexander and I drove across Europe to bring tools and building material to build this system. Read More