Regenerative Water-Pleasant Agriculture Takes Benefit of Each Drop of Rain – Frog Hole Farm

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It’s simple to neglect the worth and significance of water. Possibly it is as a result of it is in all places; For many people, it is without doubt one of the most fixed issues in our lives. Even throughout a drought, we activate the faucet and the water flows. We hope it’s at all times there to nourish us. However what if we considered every drop of water as if it had been the final? Would we pay extra consideration to how we use it?

At Frog Hole Farm, we deal with each drop of water like the dear useful resource it’s. Under is a abstract of how irrigation traits are impacting us and the way we’re responding.

Feeling the modifications: In 2020, we put in Farm Sensors(x) in orchards that measure humidity within the root zone of our bushes. Earlier than putting in these sensors, Farmer Al noticed the bushes and the bottom; observations concerning the soil would information our watering choice. We’ll at all times rely on our observations and information. However sensors now assist us confirm our assumptions, take the guesswork out of watering, and assist us save water throughout droughts and moist climate. We verify sensor readings weekly.

Financial savings in wet season: In 2020-21, we acquired 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 roughly 30 inches of rain throughout this wet season. When it was time to consider watering within the spring, we did our soil observations and noticed that our bushes seemed wholesome and weren’t below stress. We then consulted readings from our Farm(x) sensors which confirmed our observations that we’d not want to start out watering most of our orchards till Might. Two orchards didn’t want irrigation till June. This was an enormous change from spring 2022 after we began watering in April.

Spongy soil retains water: We unfold tons of compost annually and encourage the expansion of canopy crops in our gardens. We until each 20 or 30 years after we plant a brand new backyard. On account of these regenerative administration methods, our soil is a sponge: pictures of the winter storms confirmed the stark distinction between our orchards and different farms within the space whose soils are degraded by common tillage and weeding. Leaving soil naked and tilling it usually additionally contributes to runoff, which degrades topsoil and water high quality and may contribute to flooding.

A neighbor's flooded field (left) compared to the fields at Frog Hollow in January 2023Our soil retained the valuable rain we acquired, permitting us to start out watering in Might/June, as a substitute of March. Consequently, we lowered our water use by 38 % between August 2022 and July 2023. That is equal to 62 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water!

Wonderful apricot harvests in 2023: From wholesome soil to chilly hours, there are numerous elements that contribute to an amazing harvest. We will not say for certain, however we consider our regenerative farming strategy (which retained each drop of rain potential) led to a bumper apricot crop in an unusually moist yr.

As we anticipate the autumn and winter rains, we really feel assured. We all know that we can’t management Mom Nature. However we are able to use our information of what works and what would not (and mix that information with sensor expertise) to deal with each drop of water with respect.

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