Sunday, August 12, 2012
Conference--Water:The Foundation of Agricultural Sustainability
"SARE's mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education."
Other speakers presented information on the balance between ag and urban water usage; the history of the acequias; "Prototype Design and Construction for Low Head Hydropower Gereration." (!!!)
The talk about gravity fed irrigation among the Navaho was really fascinating and gave us some ideas. This was an idea that snowballed for the speaker, as a one time experiment to find a way to irrigate at an old trading post. Using elevated tanks, the water gravity fed through drip tape to corn, no electrity, no pump. It worked so well, Professor Ed Martin found himself setting up programs in other remote spots in the Indian nations, at Canyon de Chelly, Dine College and others. The photos show the simple prototype that he set up at the conference. 60% of Navaho's must haul their water--both for personal use, and for kitchen gardens. Truly a timely and sustainable project.
Other projects detailed the exploration of lower water use alternative crops like teff, a non gluten grain, malt barley, wine grapes, and wild rye. Another project detailed monitoring of orchard crops using a "pressure bomb" to monitor for water stress.
Some links for these talks :