Cistern Setup

There was a crew of people at Leafhopper Farm this weekend for a mushroom workshop and we found time on Sunday morning to pull out the 20,000 gallon cistern. My hope is to have it set up to catch rain before December, but a filtration system must first be designed, and we’ll need to do a lot of calculating and measuring, as the inflow pipe of this behemoth is dead center on top of the tank. That’s not an easy place to span from the top of the roof catchment system. Lots of learning to come!


The heavy plastic was sticking to its self and took a lot of cajoling to spread fully into the 23×36′ space. At one point, some of us were crawling under the tank, using our feet and legs to pry apart the folds of material. It was a very awkward structure to maneuver into place, but in less than a half hour, the job was complete.

Having the tank set up takes us a step closer to our goal of water security here at the farm. We’ll look forward to planting our swale system next fall, and cultivating more landscape than ever before here at Leafhopper Farm. Thanks again to all the people supporting this space and the vision of clean food and healthy living. The farm continues to be a place of system demonstration and evolution.

Yesterday one of the WWOOFers commented on how this place is always changing, projects may not be finished, but they keep getting better, it’s like the natural world, never finished. That’s the reality of stewarding place, it’s never finished. I appreciate that forward thinking and how it plays out here at the farm. The energy of change is embraced, without the stress of too much expectation. By aligning the rhythms of the farm closer to those of the natural world, systems flow naturally and harmoniously. More is happening here every day, not deterred by the slowness of evolution- in most cases. I’m sure there will continue to be fast changes too, like the work our earth movers do in just a few days.


Our water system is scaling up, with a jump from a few 800 gallon cistern tanks catching roof run off, to a massive 20,000 gallon pillow tank to flood irrigate our quarter acre food forest, which will be developed in the coming year. The capacity to hold to much water, allows us the security to generously water through our drought season next summer. This in turn invites the planting of larger swaths of space for cultivation, knowing we will be able to tend these gardens through the driest times which we’re now facing here in Western Washington with continual frequency. In future, once this first food forest is established, we could move the portable tank to another area of the property to help establish more cultivated space at Leafhopper Farm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s