Establishing Irrigation and TransplantingInstalled manifold including filter and regulator
Even with the filter on the manifold, I let the water run out the end of the drip tape for a minute to remove any dust or debris
First six beds formed at the new property
I like to form and farm on what I refer to as semi-permanent beds. These are beds, which I build and maintain over at least one year, but which can be used for as many as two or three years depending on the soil, will be utilized for at least 3 crops every year. The beds will likely grow a cover crop or remain fallow for a season before receiving an additional application of 2-3 inches of compost.
Following the application of compost and the mixing of compost and native soils with a rototiller, I build 30 inch wide beds, four to six inches high. over the next several growing seasons the beds will continue to grow in height to 6-10 inches high. I utilize a 12 inch furrow between beds and concentrate all walking and other compacting activity on those furrows.
Once the beds have been constructed, I apply overhead irrigation for a total of about 3/4 inches. This is done to germinate weeds seeds prior to direct seeding or transplanting, so they can be removed without damaging new crop plants. It also ensures adequate spoil moisture for the new seeds and plants.
In 2013, I published a book on the area titled Santa Ana Mountains History, Habitat and Hikes: On the Slopes of Old Saddleback and Beyond. In the book I describe the Natural and Cultural History of the region in some detail, so I will not do so here (Maybe you all will buy the book). In general the wilderness area is made up of deep canyons whose slopes are covered in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, with riparian forest lining the canyon bottoms.
Now, I consider myself an Ecological Farmer, and I try to follow the laws of nature when carrying out the activities required to grow food, flowers and fiber for my community (Just to be clear, I dont really produce fiber but admire those wh, o do). But on this trip, another role of nature on the farm struck me quite hard. I realized after several years of not entering this wild space, how important wildness on the small farm and for the small farmer, or all farmers for that matter. This short trip proved important for my mind, body and soul. (SOIL, SEEDS, SUNSHINE AND SOUL). Taking a little time to slow down, observe my surroundings and share quality, natural experiences with my son was an opportunity you can't put a price on.
The wild flowers in bloom was a tremendous extra and this particular area is known for its wavy leaf soap plant and wild peonies. Both of which provided inspiration for my farming. Ceonothus, also know as wild lilac, painted stripes and splotches of blue, purple and lavender across the hillsides while sticky monkey flower and Indian paint brush added reds, yellows and oranges to the canvas.
Politics and Community I am not a republican or a democrat and I frankly have been disappointed with the leaders both parties have put forwa...