This site's concept was designed around the idea that farmers would send me photos of their techniques/innovations to common gardening challenges. So far, it hasn't functioned that way. I've had to do most of the 'journalism' myself, which makes access to good content much more reliant on my free time. Which is limited. Thanks to an observant girlfriend and a recent thread on the listserve of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia I've had a bit of an epiphany on how this site might be more useful. I'm going to try choosing a farming problem or challenge each week that's relevant to the the time of year, and ask people to send me a photo or two demonstrating their techniques for or solutions to that challenge. I'm hoping a more specific focus each week might encourage more people to send me photos. This week, I'm showcasing two different models used to store drip tape efficiently. If this new idea works, hopefully I"ll start to receive more and more submissions, so that each topic can showcase many different solutions to the same problem. Next week I'd like to focus on tricks for speeding up/improving germination. More on that at the end of the post.
Here we go:
This is how David Desmond of Lost Creek Farm in Oregon stores his drip tape:
Not the greatest photo, but as you can see, he cuts plywood sides, drills holes in the center of each side just wide enough insert a hollow shaft between the two sides, and labels the sides so that he knows where the tape should go the next season. For use, he runs a smaller shaft such as long broom handle through the main shaft, with each end of the broom handle sitting on the the side wall of the box of his pickup truck. He can then use the block handles he's added to wind or unwind the tape.
Here's a solution used by John and Katy Ehrlich of Alderlea Farm in the Cowichan Valley of British Columbia:
Here's John's description:
The idea originally came from the horse farmers with a CSA up North (forget their names) but I didn't want to pay someone $200 for a weld job, so I bought the engine mounter and made some simple welds. The spools are attached together with four pieces of tie rod and nuts at each end. Good luck.
So. This is the part of the new format where I propose a topic for next week. What I'd love to do a post on is tricks for increasing seed germination speed/rates. If you're doing something you think is even a little different from the norm, please send me a photo (including a short description in the email body is even better) to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my vision, folks: each post contains photos sent from 5, 10, maybe 15 people who have addressed the week's farming challenge. It could be very helpful for other farmers out there. And I welcome ideas for themes. Use the same email address as above.
And just to be clear: this is a not-for-profit hobby of mine. I don't have overseas factories turning your ideas into my own global farm tool empire.