Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeFruitWater-wise, regenerative farming places each rain drop to work – Frog Hole Farm

Water-wise, regenerative farming places each rain drop to work – Frog Hole Farm

It’s straightforward to overlook the worth and significance of water. Perhaps it’s as a result of it’s all over the place – for many people, it’s some of the constant issues in our lives. Even throughout a drought, we activate the tap, and water flows. We anticipate it’s going to all the time be there to nurture us. However what if we considered each drop of water as if it have been the final? Would we pay extra consideration to how we use it?

At Frog Hole Farm, we deal with each drop of water as the valuable useful resource that it’s. Here’s a roundup of how irrigation tendencies are impacting us and the way we’re responding.

Sensing the modifications: In 2020, we put in Farm(x) sensors within the orchards that measure the moisture within the root zone of our bushes. Earlier than we put in these sensors, Farmer Al would take a look at the bushes and the soil – above floor observations would information our choice to irrigate. We’ll all the time depend upon our observations and information. However sensors now assist us double-check our assumptions, take the guesswork out of irrigation, and assist us save water throughout droughts and moist climate. We verify the sensor read-outs weekly.

Wet season financial savings: In 2020-21, we obtained the usual 9 inches of rain in Brentwood. However 2022-23 had a wet shock for all of us! Frog Hole Farm reaped the advantages of about 30 inches of rain throughout this wet season.  When it was time to consider irrigating within the spring, we made our above-ground observations and noticed that our bushes regarded wholesome they usually weren’t below stress. Then we consulted our Farm(x) sensor read-outs that confirmed our observations that we wouldn’t want to begin watering most of our orchards till Could. Two orchards didn’t want watering till June. This was a giant change from spring 2022, once we began irrigating in April.  

Spongy soil retains water: We unfold tons of compost annually, and we encourage cowl crops to develop throughout our orchards. We until each 20 to 30 years when planting a brand new orchard. Because of these regenerative administration methods, our soil is a sponge – photographs from winter storms confirmed the stark distinction between our orchards and different farms within the space whose soils are degraded with common tilling and weeding. Leaving the bottom uncovered and common tilling additionally contributes to runoff, which degrades topsoil and water high quality and might contribute to flooding.  

A neighbor's flooded field (left) compared to Frog Hollow's fields in January 2023Our soil held onto the valuable rain we obtained, which allowed us to begin irrigating in Could/June, as a substitute of March. Because of this, we diminished our water use by 38 p.c between August 2022 and July 2023. That is the equal of 62 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water!

Glorious apricot crops in 2023: From wholesome soil to relax hours, there are various elements that contribute to an excellent crop. We will’t say for certain, however we predict that our regenerative farming strategy (which retained each drop of rain doable) led to a bumper apricot crop in an unusually moist yr. 

As we sit up for fall and winter rains, we’re feeling assured. We all know we will’t management Mom Nature. However we will use our information about what works and what doesn’t – and mix that information with sensor know-how – to deal with each drop of water with respect.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments