Kelly Mulville - Holistic Design Innovations .
Blue Range Ranch 60 acres in S. Colorado with mixed-species cover crop, mob-grazed to build soil health
using a center pivot irrigation system. The cattle is 100% grass fed, 100% pastured producing organic natural beef.
Blue Range Ranch
To farm sustainably, a switch to an irrigation
system that requires much less energy using solar/wind to power it is being considered/designed.
Winters are cold with little snow. The area receives a scant 6" rain/year on average.
The site is situated at 7700 feet in elevation in the San Luis Valley, Colorado.
3 -6" total precipitation per year - lately leaning towards 3"
Very sunny, very low relative humidity/high evapo-transpiration
Short growing season +/- 90 days
Rio Grande canal runs through property but water availability window tends to be short
Existing well on the property is about 100 feet deep and supplies about 800 gallons per minute with a 60 year old diesel engine
Aquifer is a closed basin fed by surrounding mountains but is being overdrawn - 40,000 acres will likely go out of production in the next 2 years (through volunteer incentive programs)
Agriculture in this area tends to be conventional/chemical but some innovative organic folks are moving in
Mineral rich (volcanic) soils poor in OM (organic matter) - working actively to dramatically increase that level
Crops grown in this region tend to be very nutrient dense likely due to altitude (high omega 3, extremely high carotene, etc.)
historically the site was flood irrigated (fairly flat)