Still no rain! With the long-term forecast looking dry and relatively warm it is with some measure of unease that we are sowing our winter covercrops. Usually the first rains arrive in October and supply enough moisture to ensure good germination. This year we might have to assist with supplemental irrigation to prevent the germinating covercrop from drying up. The lack of rain is a mixed blessing, on one hand it allowed us to enjoy a good growing season, even the most rain susceptible crops such as our Blenheim Apricots and dry-farmed tomatoes were bountiful, on the other hand this prolonged drought causes the overdraft of our finite ground and surface water resources, it has extended the fireseason in our area to more than 7 months, and is stressing native plant and animal life in our surrounding natural environment.
Our local foodsystem depends on an abundant supply of water, almost 80% of the state’s water supply is used for agricultural purposes. At the current rate, more groundwater is being extracted from our Pajaro Valley aquifer than is being replenished; in some cases along the coast, this overdrafting of groundwater is causing saltwater intrusion. We are living on borrowed time as we pump unsustainable amounts of water. With more uncertain weather patterns caused by climate change we are obliged to rethink how to make our farms more resilient and sustainable. Although we can’t change the weather we can certainly prepare and do our part to adapt to the challenges ahead by conserving, diversifying, and using innovative tools to help us adapt and be better prepared for unforeseen circumstances ahead.
As we complete this 18th growing season and prepare once again for the next one, it is gratifying to acknowledge the incredible support that has nurtured this farm since its inception. Every time we plant a seed, it is reassuring to know that the care we invest in the cultivation and development of our crops is backed by the vitality of an entire community: a living network of supporters, everything from the often forgotten soil organisms to the diverse human community of fellow farmers, farm employee’s, farm suppliers, local restaurants, retailers, distributors, CSA members, farmer’s market customers, artisan food producers, cooks, teachers, students, and friends. The food grown on this land becomes a common thread that links us all together, and with every meal we prepare we also enjoy the pleasure and nourishment that comes from it.
This simple but powerful act of taking charge and choosing what goes into our mouths is slowly transforming local and regional food systems. Increasingly more farms across the country are responding by moving away from industrial and destructive growing practices, striving to give consumers both access and choice of more affordable and sustainably grown food.
So it is with heartfelt gratitude that all of us here thank you for supporting and participating in the seasonal journey of Live Earth Farm, and we hope you will stay connected for many more nourishing seasons to come.
We encourage you to stay in touch by reading our winter newsletters, facebook and website updates. We still have a few winter shares left, both the traditional and choice shares, so sign up now, the Winter CSA starts the first week of December. You, the Live Earth Farm CSA members, are the best ambassadors to keep the CSA movement vibrant and successful so don’t hesitate to contact us with feedback, ideas, and suggestions. We like to hear from you.
Of course we always encourage everyone to join us for the many upcoming farm events and celebrations over the course of next season.
Wishing you all a healthy, joyous and peaceful Thanksgiving!