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  1. #61
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    any why do we allow farming in the desert anyway? is there a shortage of more viable land for crops?
    what would happen if that desert land was taken out of production?
    this is my question- why did they start growing it there in the first place? sounds idiotic from the get-go. Maybe this is a chance to have the unsustainable farms move out.

    Most of our veg and fruit seem to be grown locally. And no one waters their lawns, or their gardens, or their lush pastures or hay fields- we get rain.
    The golf courses are, however, a blot on the environment with their heavy chemical use.



  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    this is my question- why did they start growing it there in the first place? sounds idiotic from the get-go. Maybe this is a chance to have the unsustainable farms move out.

    Most of our veg and fruit seem to be grown locally. And no one waters their lawns, or their gardens, or their lush pastures or hay fields- we get rain.
    The golf courses are, however, a blot on the environment with their heavy chemical use.
    when half the country is covered under snow the temps are mild, what's a little bit of water....
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


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  3. #63
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    Interesting...

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California's got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better. And they will likely have to do better—California's fruit-and-veg empire rests on a foundation of highly subsidized and increasingly scarce irrigation water. And that situation will only worsen as climate change makes droughts more prevalent in the western US, as this excellent Grist article by Matt Jenkins demonstrates. It makes sense to think of California's bounty as a kind of bubble puffed up by a history of cheap and unsustainable irrigation-water access—a bubble that will sooner or later have to burst.
    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philp...e-our-own-good
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    It's what always blows my mind. I mean we do get frost, and Avocados and most citrus is just not in the cards, but dangit, Alabama is fertile and has plenty of water. Why on earth won't we grow more vegetables - other than tomatoes and corn!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    It's what always blows my mind. I mean we do get frost, and Avocados and most citrus is just not in the cards, but dangit, Alabama is fertile and has plenty of water. Why on earth won't we grow more vegetables - other than tomatoes and corn!
    FWIW many vegetables don't like HEAT. Even here in VA if I want lettuce I have to start it in the greenhouse and have it in the ground outside by mid March otherwise it bolts. Peas are iffy and so is broccoli, cabbage, etc. though squash and beans should also do well in AL
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    It's what always blows my mind. I mean we do get frost, and Avocados and most citrus is just not in the cards, but dangit, Alabama is fertile and has plenty of water. Why on earth won't we grow more vegetables - other than tomatoes and corn!
    It is a long way from Birmingham to Foley.

    CA grows what it does because it's very profitable. The climate permits year 'round production of a lot of stuff. If you live in Boston and want fresh fruit on your morning cereal in January will you look to AL or CA? (FL would be an option, of course, but in FL you've got competition from snowbirds for land, water, electricity, etc.)

    AL grows what it does because it's profitable. Climate, soil, transport links, labor availability, etc. all contribute to profitability.

    The problem with Mother Jones (and all the other commentators of that sort) is that they have no feel for agricultural economics. Farmers plant things that they know can make them a living. They plant GMO crops because GMO crops produce a better profit margin (more costly seed, but far less use of pesticides which means they don't have to buy the chemicals, the diesel, the specialized applicators, the licensing, the insurance, etc.). If growing strawberries in AL is more profitable than corn, soybeans, cotton, etc. then AL farmers will begin to plant strawberries (at least some will). But if they can't compete with CA farmers, it would be economic suicide for them to plant dollar loosing crops.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post

    Most of our veg and fruit seem to be grown locally. And no one waters their lawns, or their gardens, or their lush pastures or hay fields- we get rain.
    The golf courses are, however, a blot on the environment with their heavy chemical use.
    I don't think you are that far from me. I am SE PA. Most of my veg and fruit are NOT grown locally for a majority of the year and anything citrus is never local. In season my local supermarket will promote the local corn, apples, peppers, broccoli and asparagus. Not now. I don't see how you think that most of the vegatables and fruits are grown locally in PA, certainly not year round.

    I am thinking we either irrigate CA to be able to eat fresh US fruits/vegatable year round or buy more of it from Central/South America.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonnysMom View Post
    I don't think you are that far from me. I am SE PA. Most of my veg and fruit are NOT grown locally for a majority of the year and anything citrus is never local. In season my local supermarket will promote the local corn, apples, peppers, broccoli and asparagus. Not now. I don't see how you think that most of the vegatables and fruits are grown locally in PA, certainly not year round.

    I am thinking we either irrigate CA to be able to eat fresh US fruits/vegatable year round or buy more of it from Central/South America.
    Or we eat like our grandparents did...seasonally available fruits and vegetables.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Or we eat like our grandparents did...seasonally available fruits and vegetables.

    This...

    Years ago, I lived for a while in a small town in Japan... I'd forgotten what the annual cycle of fruits and veggies was like, but boy they were delicious fresh and in season. I still remember when nashi - what we call Asian pears - appeared. They hadn't made it to the US yet, so I was surprised and delighted to learn about such a delicious fruit (for the weeks it was available.)

    As far as continuing to rely on California - not only are the aquifers getting drained, there is salt build up in the some of the soil, so I'm not sure how long this party is going to last.

    Yesterday I spoke to several of the vendors at a farmers' market... one of them told me that well diggers are so busy digging new and deeper wells in his area that you can't even get one of them out to do minor repairs on existing pumps... July is their first available date.


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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Or we eat like our grandparents did...seasonally available fruits and vegetables.
    Do we also get scurvy like great-grandparents did?

    There's a reason we have the food supply and distribution system we have. The reason is IT WORKS. It's not very PC and it drives the locavores mad with frustration but IT WORKS.

    Oh, by the way, the rich didn't get scurvy. They bought citrus fruit imported from either warmer U.S. climes or brought in by ship from warmer countries.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Do we also get scurvy like great-grandparents did?

    There's a reason we have the food supply and distribution system we have. The reason is IT WORKS. It's not very PC and it drives the locavores mad with frustration but IT WORKS.

    Oh, by the way, the rich didn't get scurvy. They bought citrus fruit imported from either warmer U.S. climes or brought in by ship from warmer countries.

    G.
    Gimme a break!
    There are plenty of vegetables that do store well or grow in cold climate.
    Not under feet of snow, I do admit (but storage is easier in cool climate, so there is that)
    It does not take THAT much citrus to combat scurvy, fresh meat also has some of that...

    but it would mean we have to think our lifestyle. It can be done, people did it in the past.
    But who wants to eat a shrively apple these days, or bother with a dried up carrot to throw into stew.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.


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  12. #72
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    onions can also help with scurvy!
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


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  13. #73
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    Surely there is some common ground between seasonal produce and scurvy!
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


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  14. #74
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    Louisiana has traditionally had large strawberry production, but it's disappearing. Tennessee has had tomatoes. Peach Orchards are disappearing in most of the middle South. This agriculture is very labor intensive and labor is very hard to find and expensive. California benefits from Mexico. With the loss of rail transport, distribution is also a problem for smaller scale growers.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


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  15. #75
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    true dat---eat onions for vitamin c!


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  16. #76
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    . I don't see how you think that most of the vegatables and fruits are grown locally in PA, certainly not year round.
    not in PA for the most part- from neighboring new jersey, "the garden state". They brag about it in the grocery stores- NJ tomatoes, peaches, asparagus, etc.; some PA stuff, like local berries. You can "buy local" pretty much everything except in the winter.
    In the winter they ship off-season stuff up from S. America. Or you can visit the frozen section and buy locally grown stuff that was frozen for cheap, nutritious, off-season eating.
    I see practically nothing labelled as "from California" that doesn't have a more local source. At least here. I'm sure that varies by state.
    Of course there are exceptions- citrus, almonds, bananas.
    Used to be getting an orange was a big treat.


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  17. #77
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    When I was the cook for a ranch we put probably 100 lbs of carrots in sand in the root cellar, apples were in apple baskets in the root cellar, onions were hung in the rafters of the root cellar, oranges would last quite some time down there and they usually bought a case of oranges, lemons, grapefuits and apples (if we didn't have them) for Christmas, cabbages from the garden were easy to grow and kept forever, and we made jams/jellies from all the berries along the creek, huckleberries, chokecherries, strawberries, and raspberries and had dozens of jars full.

    That was only 20 years ago and it's about how I operate still. It's not that complicated, expensive or even time consuming if you like being outdoors.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    For those of you in CA, it appears from the outside looking in, that southern CA has done a pretty good job of conservation and planning ahead. Is this not so for mid and northern CA?
    Well - they have done a good job at STORING water, not exactly conserving it.

    I have lived in California all my life, the Bay Area - on the coast in small communities, and in Southern California - Orange County ( to give some perspective).

    Growing up in Norcal (with private water collectives) water conservation was a way of life. "If its yellow let it mellow", I have never had a lawn - ever. But I, and those I know have drought tolerant landscaping. We (my family) does not wash cars their cars in the summer. Pools are not very common. Low flow shower heads and toilets are.

    Then I moved to Socal (during a drought!) and was floored at the number of green lawns, sprinklers spraying into the sky during the height of the daytime sun (which is HOT down there!). Pools, pools and more pools. Deserts turned into green oasis. It seemed like water was not a concern at all. I certainly did not experience a culture of water conservation during my time there.

    There are many things to explain the differences.

    First - Northern CA usually gets lots of RAIN. The far north (north of the bay area) gets an average of 50 inches a year. San Mateo County (my home - bay area) gets 30 inches a year, central Ca (San Luis Obispo) gets around 25 inches. Usually the rains come, the crops get watered, the reservoirs are filled, and the rivers are fed.

    Aside from rain, much of the bay area gets its water from the Sierras, huge snowpacks develop in the mountains - snow pack melts fills a series of reservoirs - and the Delta, which runs to the bay.

    Only this year. It hasn't rained, it hasn't snowed. Driest year ever recorded - no one has seen a winter like this before.

    Meanwhile - in Southern California San Diego sees an average of 10 inches of rain a year. They do not rely on rainfall for their water. Southern California's water comes from Northern California and the Colorado River.

    https://www.sandiego.gov/water/quali.../sources.shtml

    Less reliance on rainfall means that they are not as impacted by a drought - because they do not get much rain anyway. Their water comes via aqueducts, and is stored in reservoirs and tanks. Holding facilities are still full from last year (again, they do not rely on rainfall to fill them - but rather tap the Colorado River, or Nor Cal).

    As far as the Delta - and the many fish, and related plants and animals that depend on it - its facing a total collapse. Many years of water diversion and mismanagement have brought it to the edge, add a nature created drought, and its not good news for the future of this vital waterway. Its not just smelt, its a total ecosystem issue.

    EVERYONE in CA needs to CONSERVE water, So Cal as well (especially being as a good portion of their water comes from the northern part of the state!). I am all for banning lawns, and limiting water waste.

    I never understood why you will see sprinklers spraying 25+ feet in the air, into 100+ degree heat to water crops. This is a common sight while driving down I-5. Wouldn't it make more sense to water at night? To not spray overhead, but to water at ground level?

    Residents AND farmers need to use our limited water more wisely. Food is important, and not decimating our natural resources is also important.


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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Do we also get scurvy like great-grandparents did?

    There's a reason we have the food supply and distribution system we have. The reason is IT WORKS. It's not very PC and it drives the locavores mad with frustration but IT WORKS.

    Oh, by the way, the rich didn't get scurvy. They bought citrus fruit imported from either warmer U.S. climes or brought in by ship from warmer countries.

    G.
    My grandparents didn't have scurvy, I'm betting neither did my great grandparents. Kale has more Vitamin C than an orange. In many places, you can grow kale almost year round. Parsley is pretty high in vitamin C as well. It grows pretty readily on a kitchen window sill.

    It works because big business has taken over growing, transporting and merchandising food.

    Oil isn't going to be the big problem going forward, it's going to be water.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appsolute View Post
    I never understood why you will see sprinklers spraying 25+ feet in the air, into 100+ degree heat to water crops. This is a common sight while driving down I-5. Wouldn't it make more sense to water at night? To not spray overhead, but to water at ground level?
    The hundreds of miles of uncovered and often unlined aqueducts don't make much sense either..

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Kluft-Photo-Aerial-I205-California-Aqueduct-Img_0038.jpg

    and here's an interesting photo of the start of the lifting of the water 2,000 ft up and over into LA.. takes a lot of energy to run those pumps.

    http://www.goldenstateimages.com/GSI...hp?img=CAQ-017


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