Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Drip in the orchard (photo by Thomas Polchies)
Today was the first day we turned on the orchard irrigation system. We had put it off until as late as possible in an effort to save water.  In some areas of the orchard we reconfigured the irrigation by draping the mainline tubing through the lower branches of the trees and changing the micro sprinklers to the type of drip emitter in the photo.  In most areas we have the mainline tubing running on the ground along the rows of trees with one circular micro sprinkler placed between the trees. Last year we also changed some areas of the orchard's irrigation to two arc-shaped micro sprinklers between the trees that emitted less water together than one circular emitter.   We plan to monitor the differences in the trees' growth to try to figure out what works best. Last year we used almost 20% less water than the year before and we hope this year we are able to use even less water than last year.  

We started planting the vegetable gardens slowly over the past few weeks.  Now that we no longer have to carry water to the gardens and the weather is warmer we can plant the tomato, pepper and eggplant plant starts that we started from seed in February and March. At the fruit stand we now have yellow grapefruit, pink grapefruit, lemons, hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons), locally made jam and eggs from local chickens.  

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