We all live with dust… especially if you live in the country. We all dust our furniture, perhaps the interior of our personal vehicle. We may even dust off the outdoor furniture as well. But how many of you “dust” your driveway? Yes, you read that right… we have to keep dust from “escaping” our driveway. Or, better said, we have to contain the dust created from the dirt roads on our farm.
We have, approximately, 5 miles of dirt roads on our farm. They are dusty, dirty, rarely muddy, dirt roads.
South Coast Air Quality has a dust mandate. No dust shall “escape” into the air from dirt roads, or more precisely no dust can leave our farm from our dirt roads.
Yep – no dust …from dirt roads. And you wonder why farmers can turn gray early on in life.
We use a HUGE water truck to keep the dust at bay. And in our efforts to always stay sustainable, we use reclaimed water to fill the truck. All 5,000 gallons of its capacity. The truck can run on some days every hour – especially if we are harvesting crops. On days when no harvesting is going on we usually have it in use once per day – first thing in the morning before the equipment gets moving. Secondary benefit from this… the deep roar of the truck’s engine makes a wonderful alarm clock at 4:30 a.m. when our employee starts it up and runs it past our home.
Our boys, Shane & Tim, grew up driving various vehicles here on the farm… one of them was this huge beast of a water truck. While it may seem “scary” to some for young people to be driving such a huge piece of equipment I can tell you that as young boys they approached it with eagerness, tempered with the wisdom a young person has innately developed while living on a farm. And I can also tell you that they are both very competent and extremely safe drivers now, and have been since they obtained their licenses’ to drive on the public highways. This I firmly believe is due in part to their work here on the farm “dusting” the driveways in their youth.