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AUSTIN, Texas — With parts of Central Texas in the “exceptional drought” category and a significant rain deficit to boot, the key to survival for an Austin-based, family-run farm of 30 years is resourcefulness.
“We’re saving water in as many ways as we possibly can,” Boggy Creek Farm operations manager Tracy Geyer said.
Geyer knows a thing or two about working in the Texas heat.
“It’s a lot of responsibility being stewards of this land and trying to keep it safe for generations to come but it makes us very proud and we’re honored to do it,” Geyer said.
“This (system) drips the water directly into the soil, right by the base of the plants so they get all that water,” Geyer continued.
Saving every ounce of moisture is vital for their operation, with an emphasis on non-tilling techniques such as the use of landscape fabric, drip-tape irrigation, rainwater catchment and a little excrement for their natural compost.
“We prepare everything in our greenhouse. We seed out the number of trays of different things the same no matter what and we just hope for the best,” Geyer said.
University of Texas at Austin geological science professor Dev Niyogi says this La Niña phase could compare to the conditions of 2011, which means all agricultural-based businesses, big and small, need to prepare for a variety of unknowns.
“The shocks to the system is what we need to come up with in terms of resiliency,” Niyogi said. “It’s just foresight, but the reality is at the local levels we have to have adaptive measures in place.”
Critical measures are being taken from the ground up.
“We’re just so busy working, our heads are in the dirt right here,” Geyer said.