Over winter, Brenden has been busy installing a new drip irrigation system. Like on so many Australian farms, water is in short supply at Thornleigh. Further, Thornleigh is an unusual farm in that being situated on a tiny island, it is dependent on rainwater.
Drip irrigation is a technique to extract maximum utility from the rainwater we are able to harvest. Rain is stored in massive tanks at the centre of the property. It is then fed to a powerful pump, which pressurises a network of pipes.
These pipes run throughout the gardens, and off them branch valves. Each valve sits at the end of a garden row, and provides a connection for a drip line.
Drip lines are water pipes punctuated at regular intervals to allow water to slowly drip out. They feature a steadily decreasing inner diameter so that they maintain equal pressure throughout their length. When compared to other forms of irrigation like sprinklers or flooding, drip lines lose far less water to evaporation.
This new drip irrigation system will help us grow crops consistently throughout the year, particularly in the summer heat. We will also be better equipped to deal with drought conditions. We can’t wait to show you (and feed you) what we grow using this new system!