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  • Allison

An Oasis in Times of Little Rain

We do things differently at View of Heaven Farm. We strive for sustainability in everything we do, and our new greenhouse hydroponics system has been set up to save us water, extend our growing season and produce a variety of wonderful, leafy greens while our raised beds and garden spaces take a rest and lie dormant for the winter. Here’s an update on what’s happening in the greenhouse:

The first seeds for our winter greens have been sown, are germinating in a growing medium known as an Oasis cube, and will soon be transplanted in the greenhouse hydroponics system.

An Oasis cube can absorb a lot of water…it is hydrophilic with a water retention level that is 30-40 times its weight. Given the severe drought at present, the prospect of soilless crop production with a significantly reduced amount of water to bring those greens to market has us nerding out with hope and anticipation instead of lamenting the lack of rain.

We chose Oasis cubes because of their lower environmental impact than other hydroponic growing mediums: they can biodegrade to 75 percent within 335 days in a biologically active landfill condition. Woohoo!

We are excited to watch these new roots grow fast and strong and to bring hydroponic leafy greens to market later this fall. Given the severity of the drought here in W. Loudoun, we are thrilled to have a growing medium that will hold just the right amount of water for the greens and let us continue our good work. We took shelter in the greenhouse and rejoiced at the sight and sound of Thursday’s brief downpour, but .15” of rain is only a drop in the bucket for what is needed to replenish the water region’s water table.

Adding hydroponics to our production methods helps us have a bit more certainty in our ability to grow, harvest, and best manage our water conservation efforts. Thank you as always for your support of our work.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Allison Schumacher

Farm Manager

“The name of our proper connection to the earth is ‘good work,’ for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing.” ~ Wendell Berry

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