Our irrigation system is capable of irrigating about ten beds at a time. It tends to take about half a day to thoroughly soak a planting, so at best we can irrigate twenty beds in a day. To do this we have to walk up and down the length of the field switching which lines are active and moving expensive overhead irrigation sprinklers from one area to another (we only have one set). Draught tolerance is different from one species to the next, so it is a weighted call to determine which beds to irrigate. Twenty beds in a day doesn’t sound that bad, but in this relentless heat beds dry out very quickly.
Following some panicked randomized irrigation at the onset of this year’s most recent draught, we have a proper rotating irrigation schedule in place. Even with that though, the surrounding soils wick the moisture away at an alarming rate. It is, of course, clear to me now that irrigation is not the rain-replacement I thought it was in my pre-farming years.
It’s been a rewarding experience, shedding light on the reality of the some of the trials that Helen had to deal with in the past two years. Irrigation was a thorn in her side for two years now, taking her away from planting, seeding, weeding and various other “ings” that desperately needed her attention. Now I get to take that task off her plate, and she is free to work on more “ings”. Speaking of all the “ings”, the fall crops are coming in nicely. They are getting a lot of TLC and some of them are already producing! Greens are about to be back on the menu!
Hope you’re all beating the heat! The Tomato sale and the snack pepper sale will be continuing this week! Hope to see you all at the markets!