Ancient Indian Waffle Garden Replica
The waffle-garden, a dry-farming technique, is a square plot, anywhere from one to four meters per side, surrounded by a clay or adobe wall that rose 3-5 cm above the ground. The overall pattern resembled a giant breakfast waffle. The waffle plot may have had gravel mulch as well. Both methods served to hold the water in the soil longer, to retard evaporation, and to increase chances for crop success. Waffle-garden agriculture has been practiced and documented historically. Dark rocks surround the waffle garden to gather heat from the sun and extend the growing season. Waffle gardens are a way of planting crops that conserve water and make efficient use of space in a village setting. Drought resistant varieties of corn, squash, beans, melons, cilantro, and chili were grown in the gardens as well as other crops. Woman and children would carry water to the gardens in earthen pots. The garden will be built by a dry streambed, near the water supply from the campground. Park personnel will maintain the garden after it is built. Scouts and adults will need to clear a 3-meter square area, mix the adobe and build the waffle. After allowing it to dry, seeds will be planted and a shallow layer of gravel will be put inside the waffle to retain water. A sign will be erected explaining the history and purpose of the garden. A 3-foot high fence will be constructed of saguaro ribs, lashed together with twine will surround the garden to keep out pests. Chicken wire will line the inside of the Saguaro ribs to reinforce the structure and keep animals from knocking the fence over. Donations for the landscape mix and color; to make the adobe, along with gravel and sign materials will be obtained. It is also hoped a donation for the saguaro ribs, chicken wire and stake to construct the fence can also be obtained.
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