People sometimes ask how quickly an Olla transfers water though the walls of the pot. . . .
. . . So yesterday I started an experiment. I've done this many times before, but this time I took photos!
I filled an Olla to the very rim, then watched it. Within about 1/2 hour the walls of the pot were saturated with water, and it looked like the water inside the Olla was down about a cup.
I left it for 24 hours, then came back to check on it. The Olla with water is on the right . . . the one on the left is bone dry for comparison.
The Olla was sweating, and I was easily able to add 4 cups of water to replace the amount of water that had transferred through the walls of the pot.
So . . . the Olla transferred about a quart of water in 24 hours, sitting on the counter in our basement on a warm, somewhat humid October day in Wisconsin.
But this is where it gets tricky . . . if it were a dry day it would have transferred water faster . . . and if it were raining (in our basement), it would have transferred slower.
It works the same way when Ollas are buried in soil. If the soil is dry, the Olla will transfer water quickly. If it is saturated, it will transfer water slowly. And, if soil is REALLY saturated, water will actually transfer from the soil back into the pot.
And, even more interesting is that plants' roots grow toward the Olla, and eventually create suction to pull water through the walls of the Olla as needed, creating almost 100% efficiency.
I love the simple brilliance of this ancient technology! The top of the soil stays dry (which discourages weeds), they save water, they save you time, and plants love them :)