Youth Farm: Something about Irrigation Pipes
Although the rain keeps coming in scattered spells, I figured it was time to get the irrigation set up. It’s a fairly simple task that requires reconnecting the sprinkler heads to riser pipes, then laying out the mainline, which consists of 30ft aluminum pipes. We then connect smaller diameter pipes that run down between the vegetable beds. For most 16 or 17 year old girls this is a new experience.
To start, I explain to them that using plumbers tape when reconnecting the sprinkler heads cuts down on leakage. For a kid who has never used a wrench this is a great learning opportunity, and for the girl who is more practiced with the tool, she exudes confidence. Our next step is to haul the pipes out into the field, an easy task if you know where the sweet spot on your shoulder is, an awkward one if this is your first time. Next, I show the girls how to turn on the well, and we wait for the water to rush through the pipes. Of course there are leaks and adjustments to be made, and inevitably somebody gets wet. They laugh. The act of laying out the big aluminum pipes is an accomplishment for these young women. I watch as the farm starts to get through to them.