It poured buckets here last night. On the 5th anniversary of the flood that claimed lives, homes, and property it was a stressful evening for many Blanco River Valley residents. Rain reports vary from 6″ to 3″ overnight.
Here on the farm, we got just over 3″ of rain in our gauges. I think the actual total may have been higher than that. I don’t think rain gauges are accurate when the rain is going sideways, but we will go with 3″.
I took a little walkabout this morning to see how the garden fared with all the rain and wind. I was expecting at least some loss. Surprise, surprise, we lost not a single thing. I didn’t even see a tomato on the ground. I went looking for signs of runoff to see where we might need to do some erosion control work. Nothing, not a single runoff spot except where the mound of dirt for the potatoes opened up to let water out. That water didn’t go more than 4″ before it was soaked in.
In case you can’t tell from our pictures in the past we use raised beds. Some of our beds are raised 6″ or more. this creates furrows that are that deep between the rows. I was expecting there to be significant runoff from those areas. There wasn’t a bit, not even a trickle. No puddles this morning either.
What this tells me is that ALL of that rain soaked into the ground, exactly where we need it. There was no erosion of the soil even though some of our soil is exposed. Our soil building has worked, even in this extreme circumstance. In less than a year we have taken soil that would have runoff when it rained and healed it enough that all that rain just soaks in. Our soil isn’t perfect but in a short period of time we have repaired enough of the damage that it is doing what it should.
Erosion is a huge issue in the Hill Country. Our topsoil washes away so quickly and easily that areas are left with just white rock. It doesn’t have to be that way. If we can fix ours, anyone can. It wasn’t expensive and it wasn’t hard. It just takes putting back the biology that is missing.
This is what I have been studying and working on for a while. I haven’t completed my studies yet, but I should be done by the fall or end of the year. Once I have finished I will be offering my knowledge to my community so we can all rebuild our soils and bring living soil back to our valley.
So for our customers, the garden is fine and high nutrition produce will be coming this week just like weeks past. Keep an eye out for posts on what we are doing, how it affects our soil and our food. I think you might be interested in how all this soil building boosts the nutrition in the food we grow.