Another rite of spring on this tiny farm: setting out the (jumbo) rain gauge. I did it today. This model, with its big numbers and fluorescent red float, can be “read at 50 feet”! Or something like that. It’s…jumbo. I stake it in a convenient spot that I pass by several times a day, so I’m never straining… And it’s always somewhere in mind: Scientific Measurement meets wow-I-wonder-if-it’s-ever-gonna-rain-again (except for the occasional year of when-is-it-gonna-stop?!!—but the rainbows were nice).
No sooner does the snow go and the ground dry out enough to begin working, than it’s time to wait for rain. This gauge is calibrated in 5 millimeter increments (about 25 mm to the inch, I think in inches when it comes to rain…). It’s emptied daily as necessary, so it never gets nearly this high. Rainfall is recorded on the field calendar to keep track for irrigation (an inch a week total, rain+watering, is the rough target).
Don’t think I’ve seen it go much above 50 mm (2″) in a day, and that only a couple of times in six years. In the market garden, too much rain is at best not helpful, but too little rain is always plain…bad! Here’s to having rain every seven days or so this season, about an inch at a time, gently laid down over one partially cloudy day, followed by a few days of sun. I’m looking forward to that! :)
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