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July 13, 2012

The "D" Word. How Dry Is It?

Dry. Its real dry. Last nite on the news they finally said the "D" word - oh its a drought alright. All you really need to do is drive around in farm country and see the curled up corn and the inch high alfalfa and the dead-in-the-field soybeans.
One of the gardens I've been watering. Note the corn on the left of the sunflowers. (Bucket for scale)

Its about time to get nervous. Food prices - for people and livestock - are going to start going up. Expect high prices for just about everything. I don't think there will be shortages... heaven knows there could be blood in the streets if they actually start rationing out soda and "Itos" for sure. If you don't think that corn and soybeans affects you, just remember that the majority of processed foods in the store are made out of corn or soybeans or both. That goes for livestock and pet food also.

At our place we can see the effects of this rainless summer everywhere. The grass is mostly gone, everything growing outside the fence is drying up, and the pond is really low. I might be imagining it but the water from our well is starting to taste funny also.

I've been watering everyday trying to keep the garden going. Unfortunately the weeds are going like gangbusters while everything else is suffering.  I'm actually considering shutting down part of the garden until later in the fall. The only upside is that I don't have to mow.

And this is where I watered by the bucketful yesterday. What a difference! (Same bucket)

Yesterday I finally broke down and bucket watered the corn and sorghum outside the fence. The soil snapped, crackled, and popped when I poured the buckets of water on it. I can't get to it with the water trolley so it was a lot of my tromping back and forth with buckets of water. It was a lot of work and I don't even know if it will work.

But its not just us. We saw our friends who own the orchard nearby recently - and we had a good laugh that he's doing the same thing. Only he's getting water out of his pond, filling 50 gallon drums in the back of his truck, and watering the fruit trees that way.

My poor alfalfa. I should be around ready for a second cutting but this hasn't even been cut once. (Still the same bucket)

This could be an interesting season, folks. I know that some of our friends are drowning in rain and here we are baking in the drought. Interesting times indeed. But chin up, we are all in this together, right?

One of my favorite scenes... a busy bee on a sunflower. At least he's happy!

What about you - are you baking or drowning?

Happy Friday (the 13th) everyone!