Community garden uses ancient watering method

Buried clay pots or ollas seep water underground

A small community garden in the Olmos Park Terrace neighborhood showcases an ancient watering method using porous clay pots also known in Spanish as ollas.

"They found them buried in northern Africa and in China 2,000 years ago," said Diana Kersey, the local potter who helped her neighbors create their garden four years ago.

She said funding was made possible by the Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas with help from Boeing.

She said the olla project began the same year of the state's on-going drought.

"It was our time to really test it out when we had zero rain," Kersey said.

She said the ollas are buried up to their necks literally, only their removable
tops visible above ground.

Kersey said after the plows are refilled once a week, the moisture seeps out nourishing the root systems.

"It only uses about 70 percent less water than if you are watering from the surface," Kersey said. "Saving water is always what you want to do."

The garden is in Triangle Park in the heart of the neighborhood at 201 W. Mandalay.