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.


LindaM said...

I totally get what you are saying because I noticed with a longer winter, we were short on cool weather crops this year. Then, the heatwave took its toll on some things too.

One thing that I have to say is that its important to stock up on things while we can. Some have an aversion to factory canned goods and want to live just off the land. I feel that this is foolish given the extremes in weather we have had in the U.S. these past few years. I therefor say that being prepared and taking advantage of what we have now is the best option. Its still not a long term solution but its one that can make or break a family in a famine situation.

goodnufranch said...

I have noticed that there seems to be more 'natural disasters' this year than I can recall. There have been such extremes: gone from floods in Manitoba to a heat wave there. In my area we are the opposite-having gone from drought to too much rain.There has been flooding in the States to now, a heat wave. Death of livestock and drying of crops. There have been several earthquakes, and volcanoes erupting. An extreme drought in Africa that the people are fleeing to Kenya to already overflowing camps.

My question is: what is next? You can only prepare for so much. The rest is out of our hands.