Another week and the farm project is one step closer to fruition (or vegetable-ition, perhaps).
With a little creative plumbing, we were able to put in the drip irrigation and get all the beds irrigated. As you might imagine it’s rather difficult to grow plants without a steady supply of water, even though we have a bumper crop of weeds this season. A lot of people wonder what the benefit of drip irrigation is as opposed to traditional sprinklers or flood irrigation. They come to me and say “Farm Manager, why drip irrigation? Do you just enjoy constantly rolling and unrolling lengths of flexible tubing whilst plugging leaks?”
“Nay”, I say. Drip irrigation offers a variety of benefits, especially in San Diego! Drip irrigation is:
- Extremely drought friendly! Water is pushed out of spaced emitters in the line that travel directly to the root system or seed that you’re growing.
- Easy to replace! Have a leak? Cut out that section and stick it back together with a coupling.
- Smart Farming! When you spray water over an entire plant with a sprinkler there are a lot of drawbacks. You lose most of your water to evaporation before it ever gets to the plants, AND what water remains on the leaves creates a great environment for bad bacteria to flourish. Keep the leaves dry and put the water where its needed.
- Flexible! Literally and figuratively. You can run poly tube and drip tape almost anywhere.
So that’s that. With the field prepped and the drip tape out we’re almost ready to farm! ALMOST. This week we’re focusing on building a fence to keep out the pesky “nature” that enjoys eating what we eat. Without a fence-line we’ll just be growing a buffet for ground squirrels and rabbits.
Stay tuned for more photos and updates! As always, if you’re interested in volunteering, interning, contributing or otherwise interacting with the EarthLab Farm please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love to answer questions and work with our community!