Here in Northern California we only see rain about 4-5 months out of the year. That leaves the rest of the year pretty dry and it is hard to farm without rainfall. Lucky for us we live next to the Pacific Ocean where fog rolls in many nights feeding precious water to our thirsty heirloom vegetables. This amazing fog is the life blood of farming in the dry summer months. Without each precious droplet our plants wouldn't survive.
We could choose to irrigate with thousands of valuable gallons of water like most farmers do, but we do not consider that sustainable. We are big believers in what is called dry farming. In dry farming little or no irrigation is added to the crops.
We try hard to follow these guidelines where possible and only use water when needed. When we do, we use drip irrigation placing each precious drop right where it is needed. No wasteful over-head watering.
Water is a precious resource that all of us need to learn to manage better. As farmers we can consume large amounts of water if we weren't careful. It is our job as good stewards of the land to be aware of things like fog and learn how to better take advantage of such resources. We have plans in the making to design large fog catching nets that would channel the tiny droplets downward.
This is nothing new! Redwoods have been doing it for thousands of years. They reach hundreds of feet into the air and catch the tiny droplets drinking in life at a time of year that is bone dry. However, as you can see from the photos you don't have to reach any higher than a cabbage leaf to get a drink.
We use mulch as well to keep moisture stored in the ground. Here in this picture to the left you see sheep's wool being used. It does a great job of catching small fog droplets and transferring them to the plants and ground. It is also insulating and the smell keeps the gophers away. This wool was from a neighboring farm and would have been thrown away after sheering. It composts well and as you can see makes a nice mulch. Part of being sustainable means learning what local resources you have around you and how to use them to your advantage.
Funny how we spinners all gravitated to this page. Hey, Sustainable Seeds! You sell some wonderful heirloom flax seeds, please consider adding some information about growing these plants for spinnable fiber! There is a fair amount of processing involved, but we fiber heads are a committed lot!
|Catz in Hawaii||
Gardens and spinning seem to go together somehow. I've been putting the seconds and other un-spinnable wool into the compost pile to increase the protein in the soil, I hadn't thought about using it as mulch! Brilliant! Especially when getting raw fleeces that haven't really been very well skirted, all those daggy bits can be mulch especially since it comes with fertilizer already embedded.
Is there any problem with the wind blowing it around?
I am a spinnerof yarn, and have a great appreciaiton of wool. Your wool mulch is fantastic!! What a great use of a low quality fleece! Thanks for the great tip!!!
Sarah Robicheaux, Anchorage, Ak
I really like your emailed newsletters. I'm a blind gardener and very into organic and sustainable gardening. Keep up the great work.Gilbert
I know you are aware of the good will such actions create. You are a jewel and I appreciate you! Actually we have seven acres, about half of which will be under cultivation this summer. Trying to teach folks to eat locally, grow their own crops...Lou
Thanks a million! What a quick response too, really do appreciate it. WeJenny
Also, thanks for the pink jumbo squash seeds; my wife is looking forward to those the most, along with a few Jerusalem melon plants that I am growing. Thanks for your website; I wish I had found it earlier. I've pretty much given up growing...Frank
Let me thank you and your team for this great customer service. I use to buy a lot, is my first time with your company and I believe you have a new loyal customer.Sara
Just wanted to say thank you for the free tomtato seeds! It was very kind and generous. I like many people these days am struggling, hoping that a backyard veggie garden will help out this year. Your free seeds are a very welcome gift. Just wanted...Deanna
I think your service is great, your selection is amazing, and your prices do not break the bank! So I am looking forward to doing business with you in the future.Marianna
Hi. wow great website and even better your goals and commitments.John
I've heard good things about your company! THANK YOU!Cathy
All I can say is....WOW! The seeds are unbelievable and it is a fantastic company filled with great people. They have an uncomprehensible amount of seeds (more than 1,500) and they are ALL certified organic with tons coming in heirloom varieties....Big Germinator