What happened to the “Community of Companions?”: the impact of dripline irrigation on LifeGiving Farm, 2021

What happened to the “Community of Companions?”: the impact of dripline irrigation on LifeGiving Farm, 2021

We put in a dripline irrigation system, both in the greenhouse beds and with the crops out in the field, and this change has given me much to think about regarding the tradeoffs of new technologies. In this video, you will see: frogs in the greenhouse; a single Delicata squash plant that has stretched out over 30 feet by about 10 feet and at last count has 45 squahes on it, at various stages of development; our usual 13 foot tall Cherokee Longear popcorn plants; lots of cucumbers and peppers, and more. I also raise questions about the tradeoffs of technology, such as plastic drip irrigation lines and even these plastic and steel high tunnel greenhouses themselves. Since the driplines focus the application of water primarily on the cultivated crop plants, their wild, volunteer neighbor/companions (that most people in the dominant culture call “weeds”) have not received nearly as much water as they used to get around here, and therefore did not grow much this year (hardly at all in the thirsty corn patches). So, we didn’t have to weed nearly as much as we used to, but what was the trade-off regarding our wildland/cultivated area interface? Has this little part of the world we live with benefitted from us humans having more control in these cultivated areas?

The first video focuses on life in the greenhouse, and the second video is about what happened out in the fields. I welcome your comments and/or questions. Peace and good health to you all.

Part 2, life out in the fields….

Correction: at 23:40 I accidentally called my Algonquin squash “Algonquin corn.” Sorry about my old, scrambled brain. 🙂

Preparing greenhouse beds for spring planting

Sometimes the greenhouse is the only place where a person can get much gardening done in the winter, especially when the ground outside the greenhouse is frozen. One thing that I should add to what I said in this video is that it is real important to keep some of the rough and woody materials from the old dirt and from the new manure that you are mixing in and resist the temptation to weed that stuff out or make the ground more smooth. The rough stuff–stems, root pieces, twigs, wood chips, etc.–help to keep the soil loose and provide feed for the helpful worms, insects and micro-critters who keep the soil in good health.

Springtime Update just before planting the popcorn, we do a little more prep work:

Farm Update, July 2017, part 1

Well, its about time I posted some more examples of Earthways. In this real time, natural sound video you will learn more about the three sisters corn-planting techniques, the importance of having wildland interfaces next to your cultivated crops, welcoming and interspersing wild plants among your cultivated plants, and more. This video only covers about half of our cultivated land and a smaller portion of our crop diversity, since it shows the large corn areas. Part 2 will show the more diverse older part of the farm, along with a hugelkultur update. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and share your own stories about natural, sustainable, joyful, harmonious cultivation of crops.

Here is the link to the video on YouTube: