Saturday, October 13, 2012

Installing Our New Drip Irrigation - Karen's Visit

Growing crops has always been a battle, so during my visit, we arranged for a local agricultural consultant to look at our soil and water supply and give advice on the best crops to grow and how to use our water more effectively.  He checked the flow from our irrigation bore and calculated that if we switched to drip irrigation, we'd have sufficient water to grow vegetables all year round plus establish an orchard of fruit trees.  This was great news and we were keen to get the main digging done before the monsoon rains arrived. We've now installed drip lines to 1 acre of the land.  Half an acre will be dedicated to vegetables for the home and sale, and the other half acre will have 40 coconut trees plus 120 fruit trees including guava, lemon, pomegranate and custard apples.  Rice will be grown on the remainer of the fields when irrigation waters are released from the dam. Once we're familiar with using the drip system, we plan to sink another bore at the far end of the property and extend the drip system to the remaining fields.  Thanks to some very generous friends from New Zealand we now have enough money to buy our trees and plant our vegies.  We were hoping to get everything planted before the monsoon rains arrived but some early downpours mean we'll have to wait for the soil to dry out before we can dig in our composts and start planting.  To see a short video of the drip irrigation being installed, click here.

The agricultural consultant explains the water saving benefits of drip irrigation
The boys helped with measuring the holes for the coconut trees
We hired a excavator to dig holes for the trees and trenches for the pipework

One of the trenches running from the bore to the new orchard area

The consultant shows how to flush dirt from the pipelines
Learning how to use and maintain the filters and add fertlizer to the lines

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