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What’s an ‘Olla?’ Brick Residents Can Discover New Way to Irrigate Plants

A modern 'olla' irrigation container. (Credit: btwashburn/ Flickr/ Creative Commons)

A modern ‘olla’ irrigation container. (Credit:
btwashburn/ Flickr/ Creative Commons)

When Spanish settlers first began exploring the American southwest, one of the first tools they learned about from the indigenous people they met was the “olla,” a ceramic jar used to cook and serve stews and soups – but also, in larger form, to irrigate plants and crops.

The Jersey Shore might be thousands of miles from the Arizona desert, but the olla can be just as useful here – and the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority is hosting an event to introduce residents to the concept.

The MUA will host a free workshop about Ollas on July 22, 2023 from 9-10 a.m. The workshop is being offered as part of Brick Utilities’ “Weekend at the Reservoir” program.

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Ollas are clay pots used as an in-ground watering technique that slowly release water directly to plant roots. They have been used for centuries throughout the world for irrigating crops, and serve as a simple and effective water conservation method for the garden.

Ollas, the MUA said in its announcement, are more effective than surface watering and promote vigorous plant growth and health. They also aid in preventing weeds without using chemicals.

“Learn about this ancient watering practice so your garden beds and containers become ‘self-watering,’ the announcement said.

Workshop attendees will build an olla for a small garden area or planter (all materials provided free). The workshop is limited to 25 people, so it’s suggested to register early.

Those interested in attending can contact Shari Kondrup via email at or via telephone at 732-701-4282 to register or obtain more information.

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