Farm and Ranch Resiliency Award Application
The threat of climate change expands in new and pressing ways every year; wildfire smoke chokes out the sun for weeks at a time, temperatures are reaching record setting highs, storms are more fierce and unpredictable than ever before. Here in the high desert, the challenges of drought and the damage they create becomes more apparent with each passing season.
At Rainshadow, we believe the most efficient way of combating the evils of drought is to work from the ground up. We’re talking soil health. Without a healthy, active, LIVING soil, the pressures of drought become overwhelmingly detrimental to farmland. We have made it our goal to do the most when it comes to creating carbon capturing, microbial dancing, nutrient dense layers of soil.
In 2020, we deployed an army of strategies to achieve this goal. We planted a cover crop with 28 different species of plants that all worked towards pumping life into the ground. We placed the dairy cows on this cover crop so that their rotational grazing would add bonus nutrients through manure incorporation. We experimented with large scale compost tea injections, filling our wheel lines with beneficial bacteria and fungi who were ready to start a soil party as soon as they touched down. We planted a huge array of diversity and carefully planned systematic crop rotations in order to attract pollinators and provide rest and change to certain areas when needed. We spent months cultivating a compost pile big enough to provide for our soil mixes and bed spreading for an entire year.
We look out into our fields and we sense life. We sense the thousands of thriving worms that are tunneling their way through the ground. We sense an unfathomable amount of microorganisms that are constantly reaching towards one another, making links and connections wherever they go. We sense water, flowing towards roots and holding. We sense healthy, living soil that is the foundation of it all. We sense resiliency.
Photo courtesy of Rainshadow Organics.