Living Green: How farmers recycle - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Living Green: How farmers recycle

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Harrah, WA - Everyone has their own ideas that come to mind when it comes to farming, and with agriculture being a big part of the economy in Central Washington, how do farmers maintain their land and crops? How do farmers conserve their resources?  Local farmer, Lon Inaba, of Inaba Produce Farms, Inc. shows NBC Right Now how he conserves materials on his 1,500 acre land.

There are many ways in which Inaba Produce Farms preserves materials, "we do composting, cover cropping, drip irrigation, crop rotations, and minimum tillage," said Inaba.  

Inaba is a third generation farmer, the Inaba family came to Central Washington when his grandfather began farming on their land in 1907, his father and grandfather all used various conservation methods to upkeep their farm.

"100 years ago all farming was organic, there were no pesticides, and now through the advent of drip irrigation and technology we can preserve things. My grandfather composted 100 years ago we just do it a little differently now," said Inaba.

Inaba makes his own soil out of compost like veggie waste and livestock manure which helps raise organic matter levels in the soil.

"You want to build your organic matters in soil, it's soil microbiology, and if you can do that then the soil can hold water better.  The more organic matter, the more it grabs water and nutrients and less leaching, like less fertilizer going into drinking water, its just a better way to do it," said Inaba.

Maintaining his land has always been a very important process for Inaba.

 "They don't make anymore new land, you have to take care of the land you have. If you lose your soil, waste your water you're not going to be a farmer for very long," said Inaba.

Currently, almost all of Inaba Produce Farms, Inc. uses drip irrigation, which is the process of allowing water to drip slowly into the roots of crops, on Inaba's farm, it all happens underground.

"We use permanent drip beds, we farm around our drip line, instead of throwing plastic tape away, we have some fields that are 20 years old, and if we keep them (drip irrigation hoses) from plugging we will use them year after year," said Inaba.

And when his crops, including, but not limited to: asparagus, bell peppers, sweet corn, onions, and tomatoes, are ready to be harvested; Inaba tells NBC Right Now, that they ship their produce out on reusable plastic containers (RPCs), instead of wasting cardboard boxes. 

Inaba Produce Farms, Inc. is also powered by solar panels.

Inaba says the process of recycling and conserving is constant, and by using all of their resources they are preserving and ensuring the health and great taste of their produce.