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News and Notes
from the Field

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September 1, 2019
Supplemental Water
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

28,700 feet of drip tape was applied and/or hooked up to tubes that were connected to our 3000' of buried 3" mainline pipes over a 3 day period at the end of last week. All of the drip tape had been saved from prior years and was re-used.
Another round of precipitation came and went without depositing more than a few drops on the farm and as a result we had to resort to irrigation infrastructure investment inundation. Three days and 30 hours later 90% of thirsty crops that still have a harvest life left in them are under water management. Depending on what happens with tomorrow's forecast rain event the final 10% may receive a well water drink. As predicted, after we install the irrigation and run it once, we'll probably receive ample rainfall and we may not have to irrigate those crops again. Such is the nature of farming, and nature. With the completion of August yesterday we can now assess the rainfall total for the month and compare it to the past. With a total of 1.3" received (half of it in the first week of the month), it was our second driest August in 11 years. That follows 8" received in July. September can occasionally be dry so I'm hopeful I'll get to use the irrigation system again now that it is in place.
Besides irrigating, we also finished harvesting the 2019 potatoes. Five varieties and 1,500 pounds of seed yielded an approximate total of 7,500 pounds. Compared to other years, conditions were pretty perfect for harvesting the spuds due to the dry soil which allowed the potato digger to scoop and sift and convey as best it can. We also transplanted more lettuce, chicory, kale, and collards successions. Including this coming week we have 3 more weeks of outdoor transplanting then we switch our focus to tunnel growing for Late Fall CSA harvests. Anticipating a rain event this past Wednesday we also direct seeded another round of arugula and hakurei turnips as well as spread compost on finished crop areas and sowed a cover crop mix of oats, buckwheat, and daikon.
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