We need a strong farm bill that gives assistance to farmers during times of drought, creates markets for local goods, protects our environment, and helps struggling families bridge the gap between hard times and a full dinner table.
– Keith Ellison
I have been hearing about the drought in California since I was a boy. Playing with the water hose, in my childhood, proved to be a favored past time for neighborhood children, especially me. As I grew older watering the lawn became a part of my weekly chores, and increasingly stressful when the responsibility of water conservation was included. “Only water the grass for a few minutes hunni,” “don’t leave the hose sitting unattended in the yard son,” and other declarative instructions bellowed from the door where my mother stood. I did not understand what the big deal was, but I complied [begrudgingly.] The years have passed, and I have become an adult. I have not had to water grass in ages, but the talk of water conservation, and drought remain like a black cloud lingering over Los Angeles, and California as a whole.
Just prior to receiving an invitation to join California Farm Water Coalition’s Farm Tour in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley, I shared an article on my personal Facebook wall about the drought, and ignorantly ranted on-and-on about how I have been hearing of this supposed drought since I was a child but never really seeing the affects here in L.A. How small my world has been in a big city which spends a lot of money to ensure the severity of California’s drought situation is shielded from my eyes, and day-to-day life.
I board a plane traveling to Sacramento,CA, the rendezvous point for our two day tour. Our itinerary included: Lundberg Family Farm, Wil-Ker-Son Ranch, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Lucero Oil, the Oroville Dam, and Lester Farms. The informative adventure that these places would offer me challenges my mind, and awakens it to the great need of water that the city life has hidden from me. I have always known that water is one of the most important things to the life of any species, but I take it for granted. I wake up, turn on a faucet, and water flows. I go to the grocery store; purchase juice, meats, rice, and other goods for food not really concerning myself with how sausage is made. The California Farm Water Coalition gave me the opportunity to pull back the curtain, and enlighten myself to the fact that one of the things I take for grant is one of the most important, and scarce commodities the world has; and it affects everything.
Note: This is the first of a series of blogs on the California Drought, and my eye-opening adventure on the California Farm Water Coalition’s Farm Tour. To stay updated with the farm tour, please follow the tag on my blog, CFWC Farm Tour. Thank you.