GardenFork Patron Scott joins us to talk about his career as an agronomist on a large scale farm in Alberta, Canada and his backyard gardening with rain barrels. Scott describes himself as: Agronomist. Husband & Father. Avid gardener. Love to read. Freethinker. Love to learn new technology.
After listening to this podcast, you'll see this is very accurate.
Scott lives in a fairly dry part of Canada which is north of Montana, and farmers there are dependent on reservoirs that collect the snow melt each spring. This water is then fed into the farms and sprayed over circular fields using an overhead watering system. Check out this neat aerial photo Scott took of one of these crop circles. The fields are circular because of the water system design, which pivots from a center pole that supplies the water, and the watering system moves around that center pole.
Scott tells us about his use of a drone to keep up on the fields he manages. Right now he is taking photos to see how the watering system is working. An aerial view can tell you if part of the water system is not working, as the plants will not be growing as well. More advanced uses of drones in farming can show disease and such. For the moment, Scott is not using the drone to spot disease, but stay tuned.
At home, you'd think someone who farms all day long would not want to farm at home, but that is what he does. Living in a dry area where rain is scarce, Scott has built a DIY rain barrel system and watering array. He has posted 2 articles on Medium about his backyard project.
The system uses barrels from a local food company that buys fruit juice in bulk. This is great, because the barrels are made of food grade plastic. He was able to purchase them for a few bucks, which makes it all even better.