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Notes from the Farm

Posted 10/31/2007 12:21am by Leaf Myczack.


Our local area has a current year rain deficit that now measures 14 inches. That translates to 14 inches of rain over the entire ground surface of East Tennessee. Many surrounding communities have mandatory water use restrictions, and Atlanta's 4 million residents are projected to be out of water by December 31st. The situation grows more serious each day.

A region doesn't just biologically collapse without numerous stresses bearing upon it, mostly resulting from human induced activity. Our current contemporary living model based upon excessive resource consumption, egregious waste, and domination over the natural environment is working against our long term self-interest in survival.

We seem to be nearing (if not already in) a crises situation and yet our dominant political response is to do nothing differently. The end result of this head in the sand approach will be to create regional water wars instead of regional water solutions. Already the state of Georgia has filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent them from releasing interstate river water to downstream Alabama and Florida.

Here on the farm, our water resources are carefully managed because we understand that without water-there is nothing! We are currently in the harvest time for this summer's crop. Areas we watered have bumper yields, areas unwatered produced little useable food.

It is my responsibility to manage the water allocation to the poultry and the food growing areas in a prudent manner. It requires a well thought out schedule of water needs, the short and long-term gallon amounts available between infrequent rain showers, and maximizing the benefits of the water used. Without conservation measures such as using non-leaking and non-spilling poultry waterers, specific target watering, and heat deflecting and water retaining ground mulch, our 2,500 gallon containment system would be grossly inadequate. Careful use of every drop is critical during this prolonged and record drought.

It is well beyond time to rethink the way we conduct our daily lives concerning the impacts we are having on the life sustaining environmental envelope that we live within. The era of oversized everything is about to hit the wall. Our national epidemic of obesity is the clearest metaphor for consuming way beyond our needs. To maintain a sustainable existence on the earth, we must learn to return more than we take. In next week's blog, I will discuss how we accomplish this practice of give-take-and give back to the land in order to enhance, rather than degrade our living home.