It’s remarkable how the weather this season is so drastically different from the drought we had last year. To be honest, the rain has been a blessing and a curse. A blessing because our water bill is a fraction of what it was last year, and a curse because of all the bacteria and fungal diseases we’re seeing out in the fields. Whatever the case, we know that just because we are getting plenty of precipitation this season, it doesn’t mean next year will be the same. So we must prepare!

Back in April I mentioned we were working towards installing a well at Stearns. Luckily, there have been some moves to get us closer to our goal – here’s the update:

  • We were approved for funding and will receive $14k to help pay for a portion of the cost. 
  • The engineers at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) designed a well and pipeline that will suit our needs at Stearns. We are waiting for a Cultural Resources Review to determine if there are any significant historical artifacts where they plan to dig. This review typically doesn’t turn up anything significant, so assuming they don’t find anything, we are safe to dig. 
  • Next, we will get approval from the Conservation Commission in Framingham. After they receive the necessary paperwork showing them what our intended project entails, we will attend a public meeting in October to officially approve our project. 
  • Once we get a green light from the Conservation Commission, the drilling contractors will meet with the engineer at NRCS to make sure everyone is on the same page and that they understand the original well design.
  • Once all the necessary groups give approval, we will install a 17 foot well and pump, more permanent irrigation tubing in our blueberries, and 550 foot of buried pipeline that will run the length of the farm.

Most of these steps will occur in October and November which will set us up for success in 2024. We are so grateful for the funding, as well as the expert guidance from the NRCS, who have been a huge help. 

Until next time,