Rain can’t come soon enough. I know I’m not alone in saying this. I just can’t really think about anything else right now, so I decided to write about it.
In early April, the last of snow melted and the ground finally thawed. It hasn’t rained much since. We’ve been planting our spring crops, more and more every week, trying to stay on schedule with our planting calendar. With limited water available at our farm, we are doing all we can to keep these spring plantings alive, and hoping the weather shifts in our favor, sooner rather than later.
Despite the dry conditions in the fields, many of our early crops have roots deep enough to find some moisture well below the soil surface. It’s the younger transplants that are struggling – the ones we’ve planted in the last two weeks. We’re also still waiting for many of our direct seeded crops (like carrots, turnips, and baby greens) to germinate. This isn’t likely to happen until it rains. It’s clear that the harvest of many of our crops will be delayed this year, and there’s not much we do to change that. Our focus right now is keeping the young plants alive, and adapting to the situation as best we can.
Ever since we moved to the farm in Brentwood, we knew we would
eventually need a deeper well, or another significant source of water.
The old “spring” that feeds our existing shallow well only provides us
with enough water to take care of the basics (watering the greenhouse,
washing vegetables, water for the house, and watering in transplants in
the field). If we run any irrigation in our fields, we will quickly
run out of water. Drilling a well has been on the list of capital
improvements we need to make, but we haven’t been able to make it happen
yet. Our lack of water supply is a risk – a resource issue we’ve been
managing all along. We’ve adapted many of our systems, crop choices,
and planting strategies to our limited water situation. We also set up
rainwater collection tanks so we can collect water off of our giant barn
roof. The problem is that it needs to rain in order for that to work.
So now drilling a new well has moved to the top of our list, and we need
to make it happen soon.