Summer is finally here and many people, including myself, are rejoicing over longer days and warmer temperatures! At all hours of the day, the sun seems to beckon me outdoors into the yard to garden or to relax on the back deck with a refreshing cold drink.
While enjoying the warmth and slower pace of summer, I still make a point to remember and appreciate the reason for lush green grass I see throughout my neighborhood; the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables I have with dinner; and the product of the evening thunderstorm that comes without fail after a hot and humid day – water.
Many people wish away the rain when it comes, but for farmers in areas currently under drought conditions, rain is cause for celebration. While many parts of the country are enjoying regular rainfall that keeps the vegetation lush and green, California is in the midst of an historic drought that has left the land parched.
As California is a major producer of several crops – including some of my favorite summer fruits like strawberries and grapes – this has put farmers in the state in a precarious situation, as crops need ample water to thrive. Due to an uncooperative Mother Nature and water conservation efforts throughout the state, some farmers don’t have enough water to keep crop production at normal levels.
What this means for the food supply is that crop yields may be lower, which translates to less of certain foods being available, making those foods harder to find or more expensive when you do find them.
As long as the drought continues, crops will be vulnerable and the impact on the food supply will extend well beyond California. It’s hard to imagine a summer without fresh strawberries and cream (yes, CA is a leading dairy producer in the US, too!), but unfortunately, it is a potential reality.
For now, let’s enjoy the fruits of the summer season, and the next time it rains, be glad for it and all that it provides!