Thursday, November 30, 2017


No rain up until this past week. Only 0.1" the entire week before. Nothing the week prior to that. Not good. 

When growing vegetables, constant soil moisture is real important. Two weeks of almost no rain has kept me watching my soil closely. But combined with that no rain has also been a general lack of wind and sun. Thus my two major moisture robbers have been absent. But finally I was getting concerned. Yesterday's checking indicated that it was time to irrigate. 

So what did I hear the weatherman say? Flash flood warning for all of Big Island? Whoa baby, rain! Yes! Sometimes I luck out. In the past 3 days the farm has gotten over 4 inches of rain. Wow. End of dry spell for now. 

Weather is real iffy here. While rainy spells seem to have a season, the yearly trends recently haven't kept to the script. The past few years have been much wetter than what I use to expecting. And the rain has been happening thorough out the year, rather than primarily at a particular season. 

If this were the rain pattern all the time, farming would be much easier. But no. Sometimes years are significant drought, which puts a real monkey wrench into farming. Drought has its benefits though -- lots of sun, warmth, available days to get work done. But it also means that water must be hauled if the stored catchment tanks get used up, which usually happens with long droughts. 

For some reason, folks who want to get into farming or serious gardening don't realize just how much the weather affects growing plants. I sort of knew about it when I got started, but the reality really hit me during my first drought. Then again during my first extended rain period. And I'm still working on ways to deal with the weather ....
...storing extra water
...incorporating more compost into the soil
...learning how to manage the mulching better
...discovering which varieties need extra moisture, or conversely, preform better during dry spells 
...experimenting with shade tunnel
...experimenting with rain protection tunnels
...using greenhouses
I haven't gotten into exploring drip irrigation yet, but it is something I really need to try. 

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