NYFC to build resources, share stories of drought resilient farming in the arid West

Zyphyros Farm bitly.com/1c19gaM As the National Young Farmers Coalition continues to expand its efforts westward, we are focusing on critical water issues by diving deeper into storytelling, innovative farm strategies and resources for drought resilient agriculture in the arid West.  Read More  Read More

Farm Hack West Slope CO: Farmers build social and online tools to improve farm resilience in the arid West

Harrison Topp, farmer from Mancos, CO, and Daphne Yannakakis, farmer at Zyphros farm, talk irrigation hardware at Farm Hack West Slope Colorado. On the small-scale farm, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. This fact makes resiliency—the ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change—an essential trait, especially for small, young and beginning farmers. As we in the west face extended drought and increasing demand for... Read More

Young farmers hold forum with Congressman Tipton to discuss access to farming, water

Congressman Tipton speaking with James Ranch founder Dave James and farm intern. On Friday, over 25 Southwest Colorado farmers and farm advocates took time out of a busy harvest day to meet with Republican Congressman Scott Tipton to share hopes and concerns for the future of farming in the Southwest. The forum, organized by NYFC and hosted by the farmers of James Ranch in Durango, was held the day after the surprise failure of the 5-year Farm Bill... Read More

Bootstrap @ Hartwood – The Best Laid Plans…

Well, many areas of New York received some good drenching over the last few weeks.  Unfortunately, we were not among them.  We did get about ¾” between 3 rainfalls, and that helped us have a few days off irrigating and kept our pasture and cover crops alive longer, but it didn’t touch the pond level (that’s now down a few feet), didn’t restore soil moisture, and isn’t nearly enough.  The tally now for our site is just over two inches... Read More

Bootstrap @ Hartwood – Dealing with Drought

We planned to write more about farm finances, but were sidetracked by a lack of rain so bad that the corn fields around us are curling up to look more like grass than corn. The weird thing is in our area, if you weren’t trying to grow anything, you probably didn’t notice the dryness.  There were days where it almost rained (and seemed like it rained just one town over), days where it threatened rain, and days where it pretended to rain (with... Read More

FarmHack Projects: Paddlewheel-Powered Pump

A drawing of a Wirtz Pump from 1842 Here is a great video made by Jeremy Smith of a water pump built by Cappie of Pangea Farm in Spearfish, SD. The pump, which is a “Wirtz pump”, uses a coil of hose and a scoop which are turned by a waterwheel in an irrigation ditch, pumping water 30′ or more vertically into a holding tank, from where it can then gravity-feed into livestock tanks, drip irrigation, etc.  This version pumps about... Read More

Report back from FarmHack@MIT

We had a great time at MIT, where we brought farmers, engineers and other thinkers together to invent things together. Here’s a play-by-play live blog of the day; here’s the video of the presentations of the day’s inventions. After pitches of about 15 ideas, we self-organized into groups to work toward prototyping six projects: an electric assist, super garden cart, multi-functional for tasks ranging from lie-down weeding to compost... Read More

FarmHack Tools: Back-flushing irrigation water filter

*Haga clic aquí para leerlo en español* Project is for: Vegetable and fruit growers who need to filter irrigation water Range of cost: $325 – $450 Skills / tools needed: Pipe wrenches, ability to glue PVC fittings together Summary: When using drip irrigation, it’s important to have a good water filter system, especially if you are using surface water (from a pond or stream).  At Hearty Roots Farm, we pump from irrigation ponds that... Read More