Turtle Bend Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm in Polk County, Georgia. Adam and Mecca Lowe are growing vegetables on approximately 7 acres of family farmland using ecological methods without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. Our goal is to produce clean, healthy, fresh vegetables for our local communities while protecting and enhancing our local natural and social resources.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Irrigation blues

One issue that we have had the most trouble figuring out has been irrigation. We decided early on that we were going to irrigate from the creek using a gas-powered pump because there is no well closeby and no electricity run to the field (yet). We contacted our local NRCS office about applying for a cost-share for irrigation and to learn about how to set up our irrigation. We got good news and bad news. The good news is that they have engineers who can design a system for us since we qualify as "small-scale" producers, but that wouldn't be ready for several months. The bad news is that we can't get any cost share until we clear $1,000 of farm income, and even then, our application wouldn't go through until next year. So, we were on our own. After scouring the internet and coming up short on technical information, we finally figured it out ourselves with a little help from random people who sold different pieces of our irrigation system. We bought two 250 gallon tanks from a guy who listed them on craigslist. Then we went to Tractor Supply and bought a gas-powered water pump, hoses and other fixtures. We finally got a good farm boy who knew something about moving water and he was a big help. The last piece was the drip lines. Because we are going to run a low-pressure system, the drip lines are our best bet. We are lucky to have the Holt Family Farm Supply in nearby Euharlee, GA. Charles Holt is a dripworks distributor and he is ordering our drip lines and other fixtures. We hope to get this system going this weekend and I will post some pictures of that as well. Whew! Water is important! One thing we have realized in trying to figure out everything from straight fencelines to pumping water is that there IS a use for that math we learned in high school! If only we could remember it!

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