Blog Action Day: Water Leaving the Enchanted Land?
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?