When we’ve had this much rain, the flowers are bound to follow. We may have to wait to plant our next set of young olive trees and the long-planned-for hedgerow because it’s too wet to dig and till, but these lovely gifts in the woods mean a lot at this time of year when spring seemed so long in coming.
About that hedgerow: We have grants from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soil Program and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Incentives Program (EQIP) to plant a hedgerow along our western fence and to plant a cover crop in the orchard for the next three years.
EQIP helps agricultural producers confront challenges such as pests and adverse weather, all the while conserving natural resources like soil, water and air. The Healthy Soil Program grants fund conservation practices that improve soil health and sequester carbon. The cover crop will also help with our soil improvement plan, which is overseen by CCOF, our organic certifying agency.
The hedgerow will provide more biodiversity at our farm. We’ll be planting ceanothus, elderberry, California buckwheat, yarrow—among other native plants—and hope to see an increase in beneficial insects, quail, gopher snakes and other wildlife. An added benefit is the hedgerow’s dense growth and height at maturity will trap drifting agricultural pollutants from the west.