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The Great Drought of 2012


Noun:              A prolonged period of abnormally low precipitation; a shortage of water                                    resulting from this.

California is very fortunate when it comes to, as I am calling it, “The Great Drought of 2012”. Fortunate in the fact those farmers here in California are mostly unaffected to the degree that those in the Midwest are. One reason for this is that farmers who use irrigation are less affected, and most farmers in the Central California Valley use irrigation to keep their crops watered.

So, Corey, what the heck is causing this drought? Good question! There are several factors that have contributed to this drought. The first, and perhaps most obvious to scientists, is that there is a La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean that has caused lower than normal water temperatures. This has lead to drier weather conditions here in North America. This is the opposite of the La Nino weather event, which creates warmer than normal ocean temperatures. Causes mudslides, floods, and Sea Monsters to flee the sea. Both the weather patterns are just that; patterns. They are just extremes of the average and are cyclical in nature. Due to the La Nina this year there was below average snowfall and precipitation this winter. This caused the grown to dry out faster in the spring and summer, which only compounded the issue of record high-heat and drought because the ground dried up faster than normal. The first six months of this year were the hottest on record. Which seems weird to me because I thought scientists said the same thing last year, and the year before that, and so on. It just goes to show that the atmosphere of Gaia is heating up, year after year, record after record. Regardless of what “Climate Change Skeptics” think, the proof is in the organic pudding.

So we have colder than normal ocean temperatures, little-to-no precipitation, and extreme heat. All three are playing a role in this drought. However, the heat is still affecting areas that do receive precipitation. Corn is the crop that is worst hit, followed closely by Soy Beans. This year farmers planted the most corn since 1937. That is a lot of Corn! This led many to forecast the largest crop yield ever and for good reason. As of today only 26% of that record crop is in “Good or Better” condition, as quoted from USDA’s July 24 weekly weather and crop bulletin. While the Soy Bean crop is at 31%, ouch!

“Hot, dry conditions result in higher rates of photosynthesis, leading to higher concentrations of fruit sugars,” Jim Nienhuis, a horticulturalist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison told Associated Press. So this means flavors will be unusually concentrated in some crops. For instance, the hot peppers will be hotter and the melons will be sweeter! So, I suppose, it isn’t all-bad….

Another effect of the low corn yield is that there is a massive slaughter of pigs and cows right now because there isn’t enough corn-feed for all of them. Which I do want to remind everyone is not their natural diet, grass is. Unless, of course, they are Corporate Pigs and Cows, then, unfortunately, that is their natural diet nowadays. See the movie Food Inc. This means that in the short term, meat prices are going to plummet due to the over supply in the grocery stores. In the long-term though, the price will ultimately go up because there won’t be as much meat when the normal yield is harvested. I am unsure how this will affect the grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, and pigs that most of us already buy for our families and ourselves. I would imagine that in the short term with the abundance of conventional meat that the price for the healthy stuff will go down a tiny bit but probably not enough to make a huge difference in our wallets.

I am already starting to think that most of the organic/free-range/alternative & healthy foods are over priced. When I see what we sell our produce for and compare to the corporate and local “health food stores” I can’t help but pick my jaw up off the floor. It is outrageous the prices they charge! I honestly think that many of these businesses are gouging customers and it isn’t fair. The best way to gauge the potential health of you and your family nowadays seems to be the size of your bank account. Which, I think, is wrong. We can and should do better as a civilization. We should make it our culture to do the right thing and not just do the thing that will make the most money.

Anyway, getting back to the drought. We, as California Organic Consumers, I believe will be largely unaffected by the Midwest corn-belt drought. Almost all of the items we sell at Golden Gate Organics are local to California, Corn and Soy Beans included. If you look at the drought map you can see that California is largely spared of the extreme temperatures and dryness of the Midwest. This is just another reason of many that California is awesome, and has the opportunity to lead the nation in organic farming and progressive thinking. We are fortunate. I am fortunate. I know this and I don’t let a single day go by without realizing that and giving thanks for this opportunity to be alive, if even for just a short time. Thanks for reading! Share what you think in the blog comments section of our website. I will be posting a copy of our weekly letter there for everyone to see and I would love to hear other points of view and have a chance to discuss this with everyone!

Now, on to this weeks box!

This week we have a ton of subs and tons of produce for sale. Wayne did the best he could on all the requests and all but a few made it in. Thank you to everyone for chipping on that via our Facebook page. With it being the end of July we have a very sweet summer box this week!

We have Sweet Grapes for $1.99, Cherry Tomatoes for $2.99, and lots of Apricots, Pluots, Plums, and Peaches.

Things Corey thinks are important:

1. Last week we had a few bunches of bad bananas. I think I have already talked to everyone about it that were affected but I wanted to apologize again. It was out of our control and I did the best I could to sub in other items or talk to those people about me hooking them up in a future box. Thank you everyone for your patience!

2. Also, a couple weeks ago now we started delivering around 11:30 am instead of 7:30am in the hopes that the produce wouldn’t have to sit out as long each day before you arrived home from work, or whatever. The reception has been great so far and I just wanted to let everyone know that.

3. If you do not want a box please skip your delivery from your Account Settings> My Schedule. This helps us to only order what we need, keep cost low, and ensure that no food goes to waste! I SINCERELY appreciate your help on this one, as I would never charge anyone for a box they didn’t want and I will ALWAYS cancel your order even if the request is after the deadline, but it does affect our prices and our ability to bring you good value.

4. As always, please leave your box out when you are expecting a delivery so we can reuse or recycle them .

Special Thanks to Cheese and Squishy who helped me write todays Email/Blog!

That’s it! Thanks for supporting GGO, enjoy your box this week, and have a great weekend!

Corey 🙂