> Say it can't be done and he'll do it. So, when maverick farmer
> Michael Ableman ran a farm in California, he grew tomatoes without a
> drop of irrigation.
> On Saltspring Island, where he now operates an organic farm and bed
> and breakfast, dry farming tomatoes is a cinch, he says. "It's easy
> here. The soil acts like a sponge. If you want to grow good tomatoes,
> don't water them," he says. "It not only conserves water, it
> concentrates the flavour.
I can witness the growing of tomatoes without water . in our aera the soil
and air is very dry for only one month before there is enough moisture left
from the winter rains in the soil and mid august there is enough dew that
fall at night that many winter plants are starting to grow . he is living
also on a valley while i am on a ridge with very little water in summer time
. when i was living in a valley , i did grew tomatoes and many other things
without any watering at all , despite i had access to gravity fed water from
a stream as much as i wanted . our strawberries were sold at the same market
for 3 dollars instead of 5 for Michael . He is coming from california ( like
70 percent of a new owners on saltspring )with a very different mentalitee .
contrary to what the article suggest farming is not his main income ( bed
and breakfast, writer , speaker ...) he just bought on top of his 8 acres
farm a farm of over 100 acres for 1millions ., 300 000 CDN$ and he is
reselling double price his small farm than he paid for, 4 years ago. so i
know for sure than even when selling strawberries at 5 dollars the pint that
doen'st makes enough money to buy this kind of farm .
It is very disapointing for me that not only this specific land he bought
was wanted to create the ecovillage we want to grow here but also was home
of Dan jason of saltspring seeds (a very dedicated grower and seed savers of
heritage seeds) before michael ask him to leave ( while together they could
have done a terrific job at creating the seedsanctuary that don jason want
saltspring to become .
moral of the story don't take journalistic stories as very meaningfull piece
of litterature .Basically they are advertising of personalities and
also sustainability is such in fashion nowadays that even not so dedicated
peoples can be sold in the media as such .By the way comparing organic
strawberries at 5 dollars with chemically grown ones is not too fair
.organic strawberries from here or california are still way cheaper than his
i personally don't know any climate worse than in canada possibly antartica
, MIchael forgot that saltspring is not all of canada , also we are zoned
here in the nothern range of mediteranean climate , figs growing have been
here for very long .
I like michael as a person but don't share his politic. tho i like his figs
at one dollar a piece ( imagine beatrice the fortune you are not making in
israel ) and it is true , growing on a mound could have been the reason why
he had them 3 weeks before ours ( could be the variety also )we enjoy our
unirragated figs also ( his are irrigated ). by the way a deer completelly
devastated the newlly fig trees i planted this summer. this is the draw
back of living in the wild and practicing natural farming .so now i need
companion plants for figs that repell deers also