There is nothing quite as refreshing as a cold drink of water on a hot summer’s day. We are fortunate to live in a country where we basically take water for granted. We don’t spend hours of our day collecting and purifying water like a lot of people in the world do. But the need for water is the same across the globe; in order to live, one must have access to a clean water source.
As farmers, this reality is always staring us in the face. In order to grow juicy watermelon, succulent peaches, sweet corn and crisp apples, all the trees and plants need to be regularly watered. This is called irrigation. At Davison Orchards we use a few different styles of irrigation. Our apple, pear and peach trees are watered with a drip irrigation system. A hose with small holes at regular intervals is stretched out near the base of the trees. Since our farm is on a hillside, each hose is fitted with a regulator that keeps the water pressure even. This ensures that the trees at the top of the hill will receive the same amount of water as those at the bottom.
Our field crops such as tomatoes, peppers, melons, onions and pumpkins are watered by drip irrigation as well. Before the plants are planted in the spring the irrigation hose is laid on the soil which is secured by black plastic over top. Then the plants are placed into holes in the plastic with the hose running along the root base. This ensures minimal water usage because it stays quite moist under the plastic and there is no evaporation of the water before the plants can use it. Drip irrigation is a very economical way to irrigate, conserving water by only using as much as is needed.
Although economical, drip irrigation cannot be used in all situations. Sometimes water needs to cover a large area, like when you water the lawn. We grow a lot of sweet corn, and we water it using a large scale sprinkler system called an irrigation gun. This system sprays a large volume of water over an area, getting the whole area wet for the roots to pull the moisture into the plant to keep it happy and growing on these hot summer days.
We are thankful to still be farming the same piece of land that my Great-Great Uncle Tom purchased in 1933. There have been many changes in how we irrigate, from ditches, to aluminum pipe, to permanent PVC sprinklers, and now to drip irrigation. We continue to learn and improve our practices, so we can continue to farm this same land for many years to come. For more information on our farming practices, click this link to our Sustainability Statement on our website. Have a great summer and enjoy the water and the lakes that we are blessed to have here in the Okanagan!
4th Generation Farmer’s Wife
PS - We are now open until 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays - Come enjoy the coolness of the evening on the patio!
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