For River Garden Farms, the growing season for a new harvest year actually begins in the last few months of its preceding year. Alfalfa is planted in October and wheat is planted in November. Both of these will be harvested as part of the new year’s crops.
Most of the winter and early spring is dedicated to farm maintenance and preparation. Remnants from the previous harvest are cleared away, along with any weeds, and the fields are leveled, plowed, and otherwise prepared to meet the specifications of the crop that will be planted in each. Our orchards are kept healthy with a routine pruning and pest and weed control regimen. All of our irrigation systems are checked, repaired or upgraded as necessary to maximize water efficiency. Our shop is busy with vehicle and equipment maintenance and repair.
Our rice fields that are flooded to serve as habitat for migrating shorebirds are monitored for water levels and, during low-rain years, supplemental water is applied to maintain the proper levels as necessary to support wildlife.
Off-season rice fields flooded for migrating shorebird habitat