Water is a precious resource, and we conserve it at Frog Hollow Farm. We use micro-sprinklers, as opposed to overhead irrigation systems. This efficient irrigation system applies just enough water to the trees right where they need it—on the root zone. Our micro-sprinklers save one Olympic-size swimming pool of water per acre every year compared to an overhead system. This translates to 280 pools, or 185 million gallons of water, saved each year on a farm scale.
But we think beyond just conserving water. That means we prepare our soil to better store the water we do use. By letting microorganisms flourish, planting ground cover, and not tilling the ground, we help the soil system function and retain water. For every 1% increase in our soil organic matter, the soil can hold 20,000 more gallons per acre. When we let these natural systems self-regulate and thrive, soil has the necessary glue and structure to act like a sponge. Healthy soil retains not only water but also nutrients. It follows that our trees are more resilient to drought; we don’t need to irrigate as much or as long; our fruit is more nutrient-dense. We also employ sensors throughout our orchards to measure moisture levels at different depths. Utilizing this data, we can irrigate efficiently and avoid over-watering.