Dryland farming yields small amounts of very flavorful produce

Aug 28, 2013

Dry farming in California results in lower yield and smaller fruit, but some say the concentration of sugar and flavor make the produce a sought-after specialty crop, according to a report by Alastair Bland published on the NPR Blog The Salt.

Bland spoke to a number of experts who believe withholding irrigation produces a superior product.

"Once you taste a dry-farmed tomato, you'll never want anything else," said Jen Lynne of Happy Boy Farms.

"Dense and really flavorful" locally grown dry-farmed potatoes are available at Whole Foods Market in Sebastopol, said produce buyer Allan Timpe.

Paul Vossen, University of California Cooperative Extension adviser in Sonoma County, says many people who dry farm do so only because they have no water with which to irrigate their land.

"They do it because they have to, and so they'll make it part of their marketing strategy," he says.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist