Brenda Durault

Kelowna resident turns farmland into agriculture/wetlands hybrid

Brenda Durault, with help from the BC Wildlife Federation, is creating multiple chinampas in her field.

  • Oct. 4, 2015 6:00 a.m.

The BC Wildlife Federation has helped a Kelowna resident reclaim some of her farmland.

Brenda Durault, the owner of Curly Frog Farm, has had continuous flooding problems on one of her fields.  In fact, the flooding became so repetitive that lost her farm status in 2004.

Now, with the help of the BCWF, Durualt is turning her field into a way to farm in a high water table.

“I started looking into different ways of farming, and found something called chinampas,” she explained.  “Chinampas basically are where you dig a canal and pile the extracted soil on a platform.  Then you have some growing room where the roots aren’t always in water all the time.”

Durault’s new-look field combines both agriculture and wildlife, which isn’t easy to accomplish.  Given her interest in creating an environmentally friendly agriculture method on land, the BCWF brought in volunteers to help with construction and also funded it.  The volunteers spent four days working on her property, wrapping up Sunday by planting native species in and around the chinampas.  The work isn’t completely done yet as seeding, watering and maintenance still needs to be completed, but the base of the chinampas are in place.

“I’ll be able to farm the raised areas, and when we do flood it will help direct the water and the flow so we will dry out faster,” Durault noted.

While it will still be some time before Durault is able to begin harvesting her first crop from her new wetlands field, she said she will likely be planting hay.

 

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