Last Thursday’s 24-hour heavy rain (over 5″ for us) was a valuable test of our insistence on no-till, permanent bed growing even in the big field. Everything was truly soggy that day and the next, but we were still able to move around, harvest, and do what we needed to do. I talked to several folks at market who really couldn’t even get into their fields before market, or who made an unholy mess of mud trying.
Finally, in the photo below you can see the benefit of any raised bed. These two former bean beds were sown in oats, and you can see the water collecting in the deeper aisle-channel between the beds. Without the raised structure and permanent grassy aisles, this water would be flowing across the field, likely eroding some soil, and certainly working to drown and/or damage whatever was planted there. The raised beds help keep the top of the root zone out of any water, allowing plants to survive even heavy rains.