Environment: It’s Raining

I become a believer around rain. We Floridians have been in a long and exceptional drought since winter (ours is not the only state in an exceptional drought). All anyone here talks about is rain. No conversation ends that someone doesn’t speak of needing rain, with agreement all around.

It’s raining and I am grateful. I hear myself praying for rain, and I am thankful for rain. I become religious in a drought. I can water from the well all day (until the well runs dry), but my crops don’t thrive without rain. Everyone is still talking about rain. My rain caches are full now and still it rains. We are celebrating.

It is June 2011, and each day I listen to reports about devastating floods in N. Dakota, and a month ago all along the Mississippi. Wild fires are burning in Texas and New Mexico and unusually large and devastating tornadoes have trashed cities in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri, and, just a few days ago, before the rains started, Florida had over 400 separate wild fires burning. Between June and November we cautiously watch the storms that spin off of the coast of West Africa as they are our potential hurricanes. I am not even mentioning the weather and envronmental catastrophes taking place elsewhere in the world. Weather is a grower’s achilles heel. We can’t predict it and we can’t control it, and often we can not protect our crops (or our homes) from it.

We are in a time of weather extremes and this more than anything is a cause for worry. No amount of managment or praying will help us to produce food if our crops flood, freeze, or burn down. These are some of the reasons why earlier societies learned so much about preserving food and seed. I don’t think a person needs to be a conspiracy theorist, paranoid or otherwise nutty to see the value in learning to save back, can, dehydrate, ferment, freeze, or otherwise preserve some of today’s food for… a rainy (or snowy) day!

Ahhh Rain, Amen!