Thursday, June 25, 2015

Imperial Visit

 So I was on a fertilizer mission earlier this week to Southern California.  About as far South as you can go, to the Imperial Valley.  I have reported on previous visits, most recently last March where we were setting up some applications of Fase 2 on olives.  Well here they are some two months later.  Can you see a difference?  Well of course not, but we'll find out come harvest in the fall.
 Here are the olives already forming.  It was really hot, but they like that even if I don't.
 Here is a brand new planting of olives.  Now do you see that they are a desert crop?  Amazing what water can do.  Water is a precious commodity here in California, but unlike the rest of the state, the source is still pretty good here in the valley.  Their water comes from the Colorado River.  The plan is to have Pro-Germinator and micros running through the drip tape in the future.
 This is just a little ways from the above picture.  Pretty barren.  Nothing grows without water.
In fact, there is a military bombing range nearby too.  Who knew so much was going on in the desert.
Another desert crop in the area is dates.  I don't know much about them, but they are pretty as they go into date production.
Soon they will put bags over the dates to keep birds from eating them.
 I talked about the Salton Sea in a blog post on February 28, 2014.  But I had never been right on the shore of it till last Monday.  A quick review:  It was created in 1905 by an engineering accident where irrigation channels were overrun by flooding of the Colorado River.  The unchecked water ran for two years and formed a lake some 35 miles long and 15 miles wide.  It was a low area that had salt mines, and there is no outflow.  So naturally the water became salty, more so than the ocean.  It became a popular recreation area back in the 30's and continued through the 70's.  But the water became saltier and also had runoff from agricultural land, such that it was no longer fun to go there. Now there is no recreation on it, other than some pelicans who may find a fish to eat.
 Now the water level is receding due to diversion of water flow into the lake for municipal water needs.  Plus it's hot and there is evaporation loss.  Here is a picture of thousands of fish that died years ago from the increased salt.  So I would imagine that this probably affected family visits to the place.
 And did I mention that it was hot?  This is from my rental car Monday afternoon.  Now I was driving in the streets of downtown Brawley, so it was likely hotter than outside of town.  By a degree or two.
But the upside is getting the jump on eating olives and dates.  And no shoveling snow half the year like in Michigan.