I am a student of permaculture and a community man. I live in Minneapolis, MN, and am currently looking to lease a city lot for an urban farm.
As it is already late in the season, my ideas for the lot are as such:
-clear the land -raise funds
-construct some raised beds
-build a year round greenhouse for winter operations
-build a shed and possible workshop space
-set up rain containers for next season
I also have an idea of potentially capturing snowfall over the winter and solarizing it to melt at a steady rate for next seasons additional irrigation or waterheating the greenhouse. Mpls gets roughly 45.5" of snow annually, and I am looking to translate this number into how much irrigation that will give me. (how much water is needed per sqft)
Any ideas here would be helpful, as this is all new to me. I am ambitious, but have nothing to lose and a whole world to gain.
The amount of water in snow depends greatly on how "wet" the snow is. My guesstimate is that every 10" of Midwest snow will melt down into 2 inches of water. 2/3rds of Minnesota precipitation happens in the summer (interweb) so I'm guessing you'd be looking at the equivalent of 8" of snowmelt water.
If you're watering a garden bed, the amount of water you need per square foot depends on how you're watering it and the condition of the soil. Conventional gardeners like to get an inch of rain (or irrigation) per week on the plants. From what I hear, greenhouses in the winter use much less water. So if you could collect snow and melt it for the greenhouse, it could be a good way to get water throughout the winter. Storing it up all winter for summer use would be much more challenging.
The permie formerly known as "Mike Jay"
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"