Raised Beds for Resiliency
Amongst all the durable growing practices at House in the Woods Farm, it is the raised beds that really conserved the day in 2018, the rainiest season on Maryland record. Our county of Frederick had flash flooding in May due to as much as six inches of rain falling within three hours. And it continued to drizzle progressively all year. It rained more days than not, even throughout the summer when we are used to drying weather condition.
With seven inch raised beds, the rain gathered in rivers between the raised crops instead of drowning the plants. Raised beds aid with drain and keep crops up on rows like islands above the rivers of water that settle in on the rainiest days. The rivers of rain have time to seep into the paths between beds. Even short-lived flooding can ravage a crop or drown a set of new seedlings. The raised plants are held up high up on islands of dry ground while the rivers have time to drain pipes, highlighted by this photo of our sweet potato plants.
Another durable technique that helps with drain is the quality of the soil. Our soil is rich and loamy, so it drains well. Our farm rests on a perfect soil area, but we have also made it better by including nutrients and plant materials back into the soil. Over the past two decades of growing, we have built up the raw material in the soil, improving the soil and improving the drain.
The crops might be safeguarded by our raised beds and rich soil, but I have to confess our spirits got a little soggy. Planting seedlings on raised beds while you trudge through mucky courses simply takes more out of you. Harvesting in the rain and changing your clothes 4 times in one day is tiring. Soaked conditions. Primarily, the rains of 2018 moistened our spirits. I am eagerly anticipating this season for a renewal of energy on the farm. Every year is a new year, and the spring crops are starting strong. Read More