As many of you know, California has suffered one of the worst droughts in its recorded history over the past two years. This photo shows the main launching harbor at Bullards Bar, our nearby reservoir. It was taken in January, a month with no rain. There have been a few storms, but the snowpack on April 1st was only one third of normal, meaning there won’t be spring runoff to recharge our springs and rivers.
I face an uncertain, but definitely reduced, amount of water to work with as planting time approaches. Those who have dropped by the website to see if I am ready to open the CSA season for the year will note that there is no new word yet. I live in a small Gold Rush-era townsite, in a house built in 1854. The town water system has about 75 connections, and is facing a shortage of meeting the committed water to us. Rates are going up this spring, and work on the water plant to increase the amount of water retained from processing will improve our situation by summer of 2015. Our particular property, and a few others, all are being proposed for treatment as ‘multi connection parcels’, and a decision will be made next week if we are to receive even more greatly-reduced allotments. I will be letting everyone know by the end of April how this affects having a CSA season in 2014.
I had been set to expand plantings, having recruited two part-time assistants. Instead, I am considering a ‘drought share’ that would consist primarily of wildcrafted plants, and also pondering a Yarn CSA of colors produced from fresh plants that grow in the area on minimal water, but must be used fresh. Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions here, or email me. I want to continue to spread the joy of natural colors, and the message of ecological creativity.