Saturday, June 09, 2007

drought

I’m really, really worried.

Worried about rain (I mean, the lack of it)

Do you realize how dry it is out there?

This is the dries spring since I’ve been farming. The driest spring in the last dozen springs.

Out of six months, four of them set dryness records and the other two can’t be called wet by any stretch of the imagination.

We need rain. Now.

And I’m not just being selfish. Not wanting to have to spend my nights moving water from one part of the farm to another.

Right now we collect about 15,000 gallons a day and can send it out over our twelve acres of vegetable fields. This really isn’t enough.

But it can make due.

Recently I bought another 2500 gallon storage tank so we can start collecting the water from the lower spring and begin to pump it up to the new field we cleared off this spring.

What with the drip tape we’ve laid out for the 2500 tomato plants and several thousand (I don’t have a better count than that) of pepper plants we have down there they will soon need all the water they can get.

I seem to have read somewhere that each tomato plant needs a gallon of water each and every week during the growing season.

Without that much water you don’t get healthy tomatoes.

So, back to the subject. What are we going to do without rain?

I read somewhere else that vegetables are really a way of exporting water. That’s why the developing country’s that grow vegetables for export are really translating their water supply into an export crop.

And if they don’t have enough water for their human population?

I guess you get the picture.

But the point I’m trying to make is that climate and water aren’t something we want to mess with.

And the arguments that we don’t know yet what the effect of climate change, even if we are having it. The people that make those arguments are scary people.

I look out on my fields each and every day and worry about water for that week and wonder will I get enough for this summer.

And then when I drive into the city in the evening with the day’s harvest and look at all that grease in the sky and I think. Even if its not changing the climate, it can’t be doing any good.

And all of those vehicles (including mine) with their own little dirt and heat producing machine under the hood.

Thousands of them at a time zooming back and forth.

Just like one of those science fiction novels I used to read as a kid.

The guy with the bulldozer came by today to get paid for clearing off my field this spring and he was after me to build a pond down below the lower spring (he’s a fisherman and I’m sure has visions of evenings on the bank of this new pond lazing with his fishing rod).

And I’m thinking, Maybe I should build a pond and store more water. Water that I’m going to need, just in case.

In case this drought we’re having becomes the norm.

In case we don’t get regular rain anymore.

In case my getting up in the middle of the night to move water in a different direction, in case that becomes the norm rather than the exception.

What do you think?

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