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Matthew Steiman, Assistant Manager, Dickinson Farm, Carlisle, PA

Evolution of Irrigation Systems on an Expanding Vegetable Farm

On most farms and gardens, some supplemental water is neccessary to successfully raise fresh produce crops. Delivering adequate water to vegetable fields and gardens can be time consuming, resource intensive, and costly. As of 2011, the Dickinson College Farm has deployed irrigation infrastructure to thirteen acres of vegetable ground, including overhead sprinklers, trickle (drip) systems, and greenhouse microsprinklers. This lively, practical talk will cover lessons learned throughout the development of irrigation at Dickinson College, from building a water storage pond in year one to the recent completion of a permanent buried mainline, pump house and heavy duty electric pump that will soon be solar powered and controlled via remote communication. The talk is intended to be highly useful to new and beginning growers of any scale, but also interesting for those who have a few seasons of wet boots, blowouts, and pump repairs under their belts.

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