Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Potatoes, revisited

I'm feeling the pain of my farmer friends.  The heat and drought have taken such a toll in north Texas, and things aren't growing the way they should.  Not just growing - in some cases, they aren't even germinating, and hardening off??  Good luck with that. 

I planted potatoes a few months ago - something new for me, and because I had never done it before, I was very diligent in caring for them.  I fed them, watered them, and generally babied them, and here is what I harvested ----->>>>
Yes - that's right, I harvested less than I actually planted.  I won't lie, I find this disheartening. Where's the satisfaction in this??   I just had a 15 gallon bucket, and I'm upset with the weather.  Some of my friends have plowed under their fields because there was nothing to harvest.  My friend Marie has replanted the same crops several times this year and still had little to no harvest. It's even hard to get farm eggs right now...the hens are just too hot and aren't laying.   But farmers are very special people. Hopeful people.
Some friends outside Austin raise chickens on their small farm, and their pond has been hit badly by the drought.  Jules writes:
This pond was over 15' deep and once covered the entire space up to not the first row of  vegetation but the second almost to the top. The herons are feasting on the fish that are left in that small amount of water at the bottom... and when those fish are gone, I don't know where our resident great blue and green herons and egrets will go, but leave they will when the food is gone.

What sorrow and trials this is! For us, for the wildlife too... we have a well that
we can use to refill it but must repair the pipes that run down-pasture and then be able to afford the electricity to run it long enough to pump many thousands of gallons.  Sooo, nature will take it's course without our intervention at this point.

We haven't seen the full effect of this drought yet.  But think about your local farmer when you are in the grocery store or farmers' market and see a sign that says "LOCALLY GROWN".  When you look at the price, and think, "wow - I can get it much cheaper than that...."  The price is a reflection of how difficult the harvest has been, and if we don't help our local farmers out now, they won't be here when we really need them. 

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