Monday, January 4, 2016

Water Cocktail and a Delivery Truck

Thanks to the creativity of our farm foreman and an abundance of canal water from early season rains our trial and demo farm is able to reduce by half or more the amount of salt that we are putting on crops via irrigation water.  This demo is crucial for our, and local farmers, success in both reducing the amount of salt put on fields over the course of the season and in our ability to flush soils toward the end of the rainy season by applying extra water to rows.  Reducing salt loads strengthens plant health, reduces disease, immediately improves productivity, and allows plants to reach their full size potential.   

Brainstorming with the Oregon farmers has also led us to the conclusion that we should slit old irrigation pipes and apply a great deal of low salinity water to greenhouses after spring production is finished.  In doing so, fresh water will dissolve salt locked in the root zone and carry it down out of the area where plants can take it up. 

Early cold weather this season has slowed down production dramatically, we have produced roughly half the number of food packages that we had produced at this point last year.  We are expanding our planted area during January by an additional 3000 square meters in a bid to get late winter and spring production up. December yielded only 850 8-10kg food parcels.  Much lower than expected. 

In better news we have received a donation for a much needed delivery truck.  This generous and far sighted donation by Cattle for Christ International will allow us to deliver up to 350 food parcels at a time - several days per week.  This much needed expansion in our ability to deliver will make a huge difference starting in February when production picks up due to warmer weather and better plant maturity.  We cannot thank our partners with Cattle for Christ enough.