days of drought
catch the rain in a jar
each drop precious
price of admission
turn fresh produce into weeds
I continue to read ridiculous reports of fights for water in California. I drive through the Central Valley and see new vineyards cropping up and the dairy industry, walnut, almond, pistachio orchards along with fresh produce (that supply a nation) are being killed. A nation’s stupidity cannot feed her people.
I live in the land of Ag or Agriculture. I wasn’t born here- I was born in a big city. Don’t get me wrong- I had plenty of experience feeding the chickens and mucking out stalls as a kid.
I drove by the almond orchards this morning. The pink and white blossoms are intoxicating in beauty and scent. Then I looked down on the ground and saw the boxes stacked every 100 yards or so. Those boxes contain an essential to the Ag industry – the pollinators. In other words- Bees! I have a few stories I could tell you about bees. I was out in the country with my daughter and some friends. We were taking in the beauty of spring picking wild flowers for pressing. We were unaware that the bees had been freed that morning. Needless to say I was alarmed when I heard a loud buzzing chorus. ” Ok girls let’s walk quickly to the car. It’s time to go!” Trying not to alarm the girls we scurried to the car. We managed to escape without one sting.
Soon it will be time for the cattle to be moved so they can graze in an area with plenty of grass. Unlike the “old days” where cattle were driven through the country along a river bed, cattle here are driven down the road. Well it’s a country road but a road my cycling friends and I frequent for a ride of rolling hills, steep climbs, and sparse traffic. Suffice it to say, one morning my riding partner and I crested a hill to meet up with a traffic jam of the four-legged type. I am not afraid of animals but I was not certain what hundreds of cattle would do when facing down a person sitting atop a metal contraption. One of the cowboys swiftly rode up on his faithful steed and rescued us by and hauling us up into the back of a pickup. Who needs a night in shining armor – I’ll take a cowboy any day.
Oh ag when the evening smells that waft into your backyard aren’t those of honeysuckle but of the dairy being washed down, when the dropping temperatures have the community on their knees knowing that the pending freeze could wipe out the year’s worth of citrus, Oh and holidays and vacations are plopped in between lambing season, planting harvesting and…
I love the Ag world – it’s full of color and delight. Bzzzz
Photography: Almond Orchard – L. Moon
Cattle Drive by Mat Honan (License Creative Commons)
Bee by Aussiegall (License Creative Commons)