At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Water Leaving the Enchanted Land?

It has hit the news that the Atlanta area will be buying water from "elsewhere" by December of this year. Here is today's blurb about it from The Daily Green:

My father-in-law has not seen it this bad in over thirty years of farming. This year marked the first time irrigation was required at planting time in spring. At our house near the farm, we have watched all the shrubbery die and it looks like we may have lost a few trees as well. We intended to remove the shrubbery anyway, so it's not a painful loss per se, but it signifies something that could become a very painful loss indeed: the destruction of the climate and ecosystem I have known well and loved deeply all my life.

We are beginning homesteaders here; every day we work to increase our self-sufficiency and reduce our ecological footprint, and we're always planning the next project that will increase our independence from industry, fossil fuels, and other unsustainable practices. But how can I plan what to plant when I don't know what climate I actually live in? Should I plant apples and plums, like I have always wanted to, or will they die? How much hotter will it get, how much drier? Should I plant citrus trees? Or perhaps succulents? Will there be enough water for us to grow food in the future? You may take your grocery store for granted, but as someone whose family grows food for others I don't have the liberty (or perhaps the gall) of forgetting the intricate marriage of crop and climate. Listening to people complain about food prices from the driver's seat of their 15 mpg/ $35,000 SUV's, I have to wonder where our priorities went so dreadfully wrong. After all, we're growing your FOOD. Don't we deserve to earn a decent living, as hard as we work, considering that your survival depends on farmers? Shouldn't your spending go more towards that which sustains your life, and not so much to what carts you around?

Where I live was once the heart of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee capital, New Echota, is less than thirty minutes away. My road is named for a Cherokee chief whose burial site was discovered here. In my forays into and about town, I travel on portions of the Trail of Tears at least once a week. (If you are an adult and don't know what I'm talking about, I hope you're extremely ashamed and that you promptly go educate yourself, preferably as soon as you finish reading here.) When the Cherokee were forcibly-- and illegally-- removed from their "Enchanted Land" to reservations in Oklahoma, this is where they began. How does this pertain to climate change? Some predictions suggest that with changing rainfall patterns, Georgia will become like Oklahoma and southern Texas, while Oklahoma will become lush and verdant. Now wouldn't that be something?

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