The Sun, the soil and the water it needs

 

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Starts hot and then feels like fall, thanks August for messing with my emotions. 

August started off blazing and now it feels like that Fall crisp weather, at least in the mornings.  It’s still warm out there and September to October have often had some hot days of there own.  For the most part I am writing off this Summer and moving onto Fall.  There are days when you question the choices you have made in life.  Well, the first few weeks of August was filled with many of those days.  Time to regroup and move forward with planning a resilient farm in a world that will, most likely only get warmer.

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Some call it dirt, some call it soil – to a farmer it is life.

We utilize cover crops and add organic compost to our soil every season.  When prepping our beds we utilize a practice of minimal tillage, this prevents weed seeds getting tilled up from the depths.  This also helps to reduce the impact to the soil ecology by reducing compaction and minimizing disturbance below 2″.  We cover our beds with giant tarps when not in use to smother out weeds, giving our crops a better advantage and creating less work for ourselves.

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Di-hydrogen monoxide – an essential item needed when farming. 

H20 – chemically know as dihydrogen monoxide or better known as water, is the essential element needed to grow.  We use a combination of drip and overhead irrigation with micro sprinklers.  Our overhead water is as clean as it gets coming straight from our well.  We conserve water on our farm and reuse our grey water for perennial plants.  We have just excavated out our pond and are looking forward to greening up more of the property.  This will help with fire protection, growing more crops and providing forage for our livestock.

 

 

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Finding balance in work and life

“There is always something to do but only so much that really needs to be done.”

~ Life

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White Wonder Watermelon.  Take the time to sit back and enjoy a watermelon with friends.

The old work/life balance is a tough one to master.  On the farm there are so many things out of my control that you are forced to accept what mother nature provides.  Sort of.  Here in Northern California we don’t see rain after June usually, and not again until October.  So we have to provide water for the crops we want to grow during Summer.

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Red Sails Lettuce.  Growing greens in the heat of Summer is not for the weak.

It can be a lot of work to keep the soil moist in our clay rich soils of the foothills.  There is rarely a time that you can leave the farm for more than 6 hours without having to re-water a crop during the Summer.  Sure, there are timers for irrigation but if there is a problem with a timer it can mean major crop loss in just a matter of hours on a 100 degree day.

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Elenora Basil.  Slightly spicier than the traditional pesto type and loves the summer heat.

There are many days when the work is hard, things don’t go right and you lose crops -which means you don’t make any money.  As time goes on you learn and things become more efficient.  The weather teaches you patience, working with the soil teaches you respect and running a farm teaches you balance.