In the heat of summer, Texas farmers and gardeners know it’s important to do what we can to keep plants cool and hydrated. Come learn a new twist on some of the oldest tricks in the book for natural cooling and efficient watering in the garden with our Terra Cotta Workshop! We’ll teach you to build ollas to water your plants at the roots without a drip system, zeer pots to lower the ambient temperature under your garden’s canopy, and other tips and techniques to maximize water conservation and minimize heat exhaustion with all natural, renewable, beautiful clay!
A Brief History of Watering & Cooling With Clay: Since at least the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, people in the Americas and in arid climates around the world have watered their food crops without waste by burying unglazed clay pots in the soil right with their plants. The water in the pots slowly seeps through the unglazed walls and into the soil, getting water to the roots of the plants where they need it! Well buried pots encourage roots to dig deeper into the soil, getting closer to the water table and available moisture.
In the last decade, these pots, now known generally as ollas, have come back into the public eye, and local potters around the country are turning their hands and wheels to the building of modern ollas. Some of these recent creations will be on display at our workshop!
Zeer pots, at least in their current form, are a more recent invention of a Nigerian professor who harnessed natural evaporative cooling to create a refrigerated chamber without any electricity. One small terra cotta pot is placed inside a larger one, and the space between them is filled with sand. The sand is moistened and the resultant evaporation cools the air inside the inner small pot. Use it to keep veggies cool while you harvest, to chill a beverage as you work in the sun, or place several around the garden to cool the entire area!
This workshop is suitable for the whole family- kids and adults will enjoy making these beautiful and functional terra cotta creations! You’ll be able to take your pots home with you- we’ll be using various sizes of terra cotta planters to create our ollas and zeer pots so no firing or waiting will be necessary and you’ll be able to repeat the process at home and with your friends!
**Note: If you bring 2 or more terra cotta pots 4″ or larger, take $5 off the workshop price!
DATE: June 30, 2012
LOCATION: 5607 Joe Sayers Avenue, 78757