Californians have been living through a drought. Watering is only allowed on certain days and being water wise is advertised everywhere. So how do those with urban farms maintain their crops and still conserve water?
The Growing Experience in Long Beach provides food weekly to 15 individuals and local restaurants, L.A. Times reports. Letting their crops go dry could be detrimental to the work they do. Instead, they’ve come up with some creative and water-smart ways to maintain their fruits and vegetables. They’re utilizing vertical towers to grow their bok choy, watercress, mint, romaine lettuce and basil. Rather than using dirt, the towers are between a sponge-like material to help grow the crops, according to L.A. Times. A closed-loop system is used to water the plants. The water that drips to the bottom is collected and filters into a holding tank that also contains fish. It’s called aquaponics and is an endless process of water from the tank to the plants and back to the tank and no water is wasted.
The Growing Experience also has native, drought-resistant plants that are heavily watered in the first few weeks of being planted, then the only water they receive is when it rains. This process is called dry farming.
Even though aquaponics and dry farming mean smaller produce, quality and taste have not dwindled, Growing Experience program director and manager told L.A. Times.
Urban farmers who wish (or need) to conserve water may want to utilize the Growing Experience’s techniques.
Do you have other suggestions on how to maintain your farm while still saving water?