|Grass tends to hide the water. Water up to the ankles (or higher) in this entire area.|
|Hilling saves crops, but what else can be done?|
Before you come to the wrong conclusion - we have used this technique in seasons prior to this as well. What we're beginning to think is that we may always want to use it for every one of our crops during all times of year.
|Hilled vs Unhilled|
|Well, there were seedlings there!|
There are some plots on our farm where this might be more important than others (like the ones shown here). So, we could simply identify plots in the rotation that must always have hilled beds and then not let ourselves take a shortcut because it might be drier.
But, why hesitate? Well, if we raise the beds, they tend to dry out faster.
Yes, that's the point, right?
|Turnips are not water plants.|
If you look closely at the picture at the right, you will see that the seedlings in this picture are completely under water. Usually, a mid to late August planting of turnips on our farm will give us some nice small to mid-sized turnips that people seem to like. None of these made it through the rains. I guess they weren't into the 'hydroponics approach.'
The next thing we may want to address is that some of our non-growing areas could be candidates for swales. For example, the picture below shows the edge of one of our fields and the grass/clover path between it and the bush line. Clearly, we are seeing plenty of water sitting there and all of the beans on that edge are no longer with us. However, they are still doing reasonably well about 10 feet in from the edge. Perhaps we should consider lowering these edges and replanting grass/clover (and maybe some perennials covers that can handle damp situations. We have multiple opportunities to do this since we have permanent greenways between each of our field plots. The thing that stops us is finding the time and resources to accomplish this task. Maybe we can not afford to not do this?
And so, here we are, continuing to find ways to make this work. And we're not going to wait and save it for a rainy day.