Running a farm isn’t easy work. It’s even tougher when it’s a one-man operation, but Tim Miller is happy to get his hands dirty and do the work. Tim runs Millberg Farm right here in Kyle and his farm is a valuable resource for gardeners and homeowners who are interested in growing crops using dryland farming techniques.
What is Dryland Farming?
Most modern farms use irrigation systems to ensure their crops get the ideal amount of water for the soil and climate. While irrigation systems are nothing new, they aren’t the original farming method. Before irrigation came along, farmers in dry areas cultivated their crops by relying on the moisture in the soil from the previous rainy season to get them through the dry season.
Dryland farming is a sustainable method of farming that Tim uses on his five-acre farm. “You need something that can survive in bone dry conditions through September, only then to be hit by heavy rains and even hurricanes,” he explained.
The Texas transplant by way of Wisconsin first learned how to farm in community gardens after moving to Austin over three decades ago. He sharpened his farming skills over the years and times his plantings with the weather, using a dryland farming method that involves trench composting to collect rainwater. He also opts to plant hardy heirloom seeds (seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation) that can thrive with this type of farming in the Central Texas climate.
Millberg Farm is Producing an Impressive Crop
Whereas dryland farming was once a necessity for farmers without irrigation systems, it could be of benefit to farmers today in areas where water shortages are becoming more common.
Farmers in regions of the Mediterranean, Africa, and southern California have had great success with dryland farming and Tim is finding his own success at Millberg Farm. Tim grows a variety of fruits and vegetables at Millberg Farm including certified organic carrots, beets, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, lettuce, okra, plums, peaches, tomatoes, turnips, and more!
Not only can Kyle residents enjoy the fruits and veggies of Millberg Farm at local farmers’ markets but they can learn about farming that promotes water conservation from Tim.
Tim operates the oldest community-supported agriculture (CSA) program in the state and wants to share his knowledge. He’ll occasionally host educational programs for backyard gardeners at Millberg farm where visitors can learn about effective planting and watering methods, participate in seed swaps, and if they’re lucky, get to sample some delicious farm-fresh foods!
Millberg Farm is just one of the places that make Kyle such a wonderful Central Texas community. If you’d like to find a home here, reach out to the Crosswinds team to learn more about our home builders and to discover your dream home.