Thursday, July 14, 2011

Here Comes The Rain Again

1:30 am and I am sitting here listening to the end of a big thunderstorm. This one was a doozy, louder and flashier than I've seen in years here. And it dumped at least another half inch of rain, or is dumping I should say. Maybe more like an inch. And it was finally starting to dry up a little today...

After several years of dryer than normal, this year has become just the opposite. This is now probably the wettest year I can remember. We've just finished about 4 days of rainfall warnings, with many areas on flood alert and at least one small town actually flooded. One creek that I drive by many days on my way to and from the farm, was flowing right at the edges of its banks.

Thankfully the farm is not in much flood danger. It would take a LOT of water to fill our lake to the point of overflowing, to the point of needing to build an ark if there has been that much rainfall. But it is still delaying grain crop growth and keeping us from getting off what is actually a fine growth of hay. A fine growth that will just go to waste if we cannot get it off.

This is the main dilemma in modern farming. At any scale you are still at the total mercy of nature. And if this is indeed the sign of things to come, are we ever in for some trouble. This is also the ongoing theme of what I have mainly been thinking about these days; just how hard is it going to get to survive even here in Canada?

With our short growing season a failed crop, or inability to harvest, would make for a very long and hungry winter if it was not for food shipped from great distances. This is especially so for people who are relatively remote. Being just north of the 55th parallel, we in the Grande Prairie area do not feel very remote in these days of relatively cheap and easy travel. But take away our cheap energy and we are most definitely in the boonies. It's a long and soggy walk to just about anywhere. We do have a good amount of oil and gas in the ground but its mostly headed out of the area as fast as possible. And all that oil and gas doesn't help anyone without a stable economic situation to extract, process and transport it.

My primary and personal concern is still the weather, however. If this excessive instability IS consistent in the long term, or gets worse, the horrible famine in Somalia is just an example of what is to come.

More on this line of thinking is on the way but its now 2 am and I best try to sleep.

Goodnight Mary Ellen.