What It’s Really Like to Be a Farmer

Written for FLARE‘s 9-5 series.

How has climate change affected the way you farm? Springs come in later and fall ends later, in general, but it’s kind of unpredictable. We’re seeing more and more where it won’t rain for two weeks and then it’ll be a downpour of like 30mm of rain in eight minutes—more tropical than what we’re used to here. Then there’s huge windstorms or late frosts. Last year it rained and rained, and this year, we’re always watering. We’re using more tunnels—7ft-tall structures that are anchored in the soil with a sheet of plastic over them—and greenhouses to adapt to that unpredictability. It really changes how you work and the practices we have.

Farming techniques are evolving; what are some advancements you’ve seen? There’s a lot more acknowledgement for the organic practices. In organic agriculture, the philosophy is to feed the soil that will then feed your plants, rather than just feeding the plant what it needs to grow for that year. I think some of the conventional farms now are also using some of these practices, like green manure.

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