Monday, March 11, 2013

Making the most of a dry winter

Exotic pepper seeds soaking in tea before being transferred to germination trays.
You probably have been hearing a lot of farmer doom and gloom over cutbacks in water allotments and such, particularly down the valley a bit where the Sierra runoff could basically fit in a thimble and the giant agricorps continually turn a lustful eye northward in hopes of securing some of our precious Northern California water. But we need it here to keep salmon runs growing and the Delta Smelt from extinction. Even north of Sacramento, where water is fairly plentiful, farmers have worries in times like this. For one thing, some hay farmers drop seed aerially on their fields and wait for a spring rain to get it growing. No rain, no hay. And farmers on wells, like me, worry about tapping too heavily into the aquifers. But it's not all bad. For instance, in many winters most ground would be unworkable right now because it would be to darn saturated to get equipment onto it. And continued dry weather could lead to early plantings. Don't get your hopes up if it's early heirloom tomatoes you're talking about. Those plants have a mind of their own.

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