I have to say, I love irrigation! Though over the years I have had my fair share of experiences moving drip tape or lugging around lay flat I always sort of resented its existence because of how it clogged the fields or required me to move its hulking mass in order to mow. And yes, I knew that the water was necessary for plant growth and that consistent water availability was even more important for uniform crop development. Even so, I never really quite got the magic of it until just the other day when I was setting up drip tape for the Tennis 1 field. I had spent all day planting and cultivating amongst many other things. The setting up of the irrigation was my last task of the day and one of my house mates, Sarah, came over to help me get the last lines of drip set down, just as the sun was doing the same. When we were finished I turned to her and expressed, with gleeful exuberance, just how excited I was to turn on the water and walk away; because, really, that’s the point. Irrigation does work - for hours - while I do other work. I can seed in the greenhouse, prepare more beds, or dote on the chickens, all while my plants, swaying gleefully in the wind, soak up the life-giving water into their roots.
True to my hope and expectations, the next day the corn was a deeper green and actually grew - noticeably! The same darkening of the foliage had occurred with the sunflowers and they no longer looked like they resented being planted in pure clay. Even now as I write this some nightshade starts are happily drinking out in the London 3 field. Ahhh, isn’t water wonderful?