Stay at the Roots
Plants and trees have always been a major part of my life. My first job was at a garden center, where I was instantly drawn in by the peace and calmness. I could literally feel the interaction between me and living things.
After spending twenty years starting and building businesses, I migrated back to my roots when my family bought a tree farm. The first time I walked the property, that same sense of peace and calmness immediately rushed back. I felt the interaction between me and the trees and my restorative soul wanted to bring the farm back to the wonderful oasis it used to be.
Just Add Water
We grow seven different species of conifer trees, all from grandparent trees right on the property. There are thousands of trees at different stages of growth and they all face the same challenge—getting enough water. Water is such a valuable commodity here in the desert. Most nights, I don’t sleep, thinking about water.
When I bought the farm, I spent two years upgrading to a pressurized irrigation system. This way we could water deeply and less frequently to conserve water while still managing the nursery. Running the system is really complex and honestly, really expensive, so I started thinking about ways to reduce the costs. We run our sprinkler systems for hours, multiple times per week. When we do this, that water creates energy and I wondered if I could harness its power. I started looking into high pressure hydro turbines and installed a few DIY solutions. It was all a bit crude, but it worked. We could leverage Mother Nature's energy and turn it into clean reusable power.