This is an eyewitness report from the NowPublic member Maireid Sullivan who was on the scene.
How to build a garden Wicking Bed for your veggies
"The wicking worm bed is a highly productive growing system which not only produces more food from limited water, but also recycles waste organic material to provide plant nutrient and capture carbon. The essence is to form an underground reservoir of water or pond contained by a waterproof container or liner below the surface of the soil. Plants are productive because they have a continuous supply of water and nutrients." Colin Austin
In March, we visited a friend who lives in a very dry area. Her vegetable patch was brilliant! She has been using Wicking Beds for some time now. They are very easy to make. We can't wait to try it ourselves. I've priced the materials and they are not expensive: heavy plastic sheeting (like pond lining) for the base, screening gravel, agricultural pipe, shade cloth, and soil.
The system was developed in Australia by Colin Austin: http://waterright.com.au/
This website also provides extensive information: http://www.easygrowvegetables.com/
We have built our own Wicking Beds, and posted photos and building guidelines here: