Songbird Farm, a 13-acre farm in Unity, ME, grows certified organic mixed vegetables, small grains and stone ground flour that is primarily sold wholesale to a distributor, direct to natural food stores, and through a CSA. Their $2966 grant allowed them to build a rainwater catchment system on a 40-foot barn with a metal roof.
“We were pleased to see that it takes only a small amount of rainfall to refill the barrels, which indicates that we’ll reap significant benefit from the water collection system on drought years. Also, an unexpected benefit was access to water during a power outage. Maine was hit by a hurricane this fall that knocked out power across the state for about a week. We had vegetable orders scheduled for that week, and while our well pump sat idle, we were able to siphon water from the tanks and use it to wash carrots and beets. Due to the increase of storms and weather severity in a changing climate we can expect to lose power more frequently in future seasons. These water tanks will provide a great resource and this system will be set up and running indefinitely. The long term benefits are as strong as the short term. This project enables us to take advantage of the rainwater that falls onto the roof of our barn for the lifespan of the farm.” ~ Johanna Davis, Farmer