Tuesday, January 28, 2014

California Drought Impact?

Since I don't have (or want) a TV I don't know if the extreme drought in California has been covered by the main stream media. I know it's not being covered on the radio.  If it isn't then I will assume that most people don't know just exactly how bad  this impacts the entire country's food supply.
   The rising cost of groceries is starting to become alarming. I know we are feeling it here.  Things are getting really tight.  Our grocery money is buying less and less.  I'm struggling to admit it to myself but it won't be long before I'm going to have to budget more towards the grocery bill.  Even with growing our own vegetables and having the chickens and the rabbits  there are staples that have to be bought.  Things we aren't able to produce here on the homeplace  Things like coffee, tea, sugar, flour, butter and cooking oil are some of them. I'm sure you are feeling it too. 
   And that brings us to what is happening in California.  Just the other day Gov. Brown declared the state in an extreme drought.  My mom was telling me there has been hardly any snow where they are up in the northern part of the state either.  Not to mention the ongoing water right feuds.This is the worst drought that California has ever seen.

Here's a partial list of the percentage of our fruits and vegetables that come from California. Click here for a full list
Artichokes  99%
Broccoli  94%
Carrots  69%
Cauliflower   80%
Celery 95%
Garlic 95%
Head Lettuce 70%
Leaf Lettuce 85%
Romaine 79%

Spinach 73%
Avocados 90%
Lemons 86%
Peaches 84%
Strawberries 88%
Plums 97%

They also grow a healthy amount of melons. Did you know they produce half of the bell peppers in the US. One third of the fresh tomatoes and 95%  of the processed ones come from the state.

If those numbers don't tell you what we are in for in the coming year then I just don't know what to say.  If you think things are expensive now just give it a bit.  Add to that the price of meat.  Beef hit a 61 year low. That will push the beef prices even higher than they are now. 

 If there is any way that you can stock your pantry deep you'll be ahead of the game (for awhile at least)  Heck consider it an investment .  What you acquire today will most assuredly be worth more in the coming months.  Hedge your bets and hold onto your hat's folks.  It's going to be a wild ride.

42 comments:

  1. Morning SCI - Yes it has to a certain degree been covered on the mainstream news. And it is as bad as it seems. I feel that is CA politicians really and truely cared about their constiuants, then they would vote to build a string of desalinization plants all along the coastal communities..thus pumping water in from the pacific, de-salting it and piping it out to the farners and etc who really need it. But what do i know? We did it here in FL, and probably will build more. because of the rapid growth of population in and around central FL. Now communities are wanting to tap in to the one main river that runs through the state...we counties to the north are saying "no way, you are not draining our river" Desalinization plants are the only solution

    No TV -- you really arent missing much. POTUS is giving his SOTU Speech tonight, and with that he will announce that if congress does not pass what he wants, then he will just use the power of his allmighty pen and sign executive orders. grrrrrr

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    1. It sounds like Florida has the right idea with the desalination plants. It makes sense to me. The only problem with that on the west coast is the very real threat of nuclear waste in the water. But that's a whole story of its own.
      I'm actually glad I don't have to watch that imposter spout more lies. I swear every time he opens his mouth lies just fall out.

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  2. Wow, that list of produce from CA is an eye opener. Makes me want to REALLY try to get the garden in order this year (last year was a total bomb with the exception of the fruit trees & strawberries). And I agree with the fact that stocking up on foodstuffs now is an investment. Best investment there is....sure beats the stock market. Unless you're talking about LIVEstock :)

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    1. We are talking about expanding our garden some but we'll see how that works out. Hey, strawberries and fruit trees are a big deal. One day I'll get some planted. Right now we just have to work with what we have though.
      lol!@ LIVEstock!

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  3. I have a friend living in CA. She and her family took a field trip to the local watershed for drinking water for the entire county. Then she posted pictures of her family walking on dry dirt that was supposed to be part of the lake. The places there were water looked like little mud puddles. This is for the entire county where she lives. I had seen it on the news, but those photos really brought it home to me.

    Thanks for again reminding us to keep doing our small things to take care of our families. They really do matter. Your words really matter, too. :)

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    1. Every small thing we can do today will be appreciated tomorrow. We just have to keep on doing what we can. My mom said they had got maybe two inches of snow this year. That's next to nothing and only makes the drought worse in the comiing year. Not to mention that fire season is right around the corner. The whole forest could go up in flames fairly fast.
      What a mess.

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  4. We saw pics of Folsom. It was practically a dust bowl. And the politicos want to ship more water down to SoCal. They are the ones that should build a desalination plant instead of building "tunnels" to bring NorCal water to SoCal. Shipping water from the deltas where there is farmland would let salt water in from the ocean to ruin the land for crops. Only in a politicians mind would this be a good idea. Those who control the food supply control the population.

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    1. Yepj, control the food supply and you will control the people. I guess that's why I'm always harping on folks trying to at least grow some of their own food.

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  5. I'm in Florida and our produce is increasing in price also. Much if not most of the produce is shipped out of state. My kids in CT pay the same price for Florida strawberries as I do.
    To combat the rising prices we are trying to grow all of our salad needs - that's 4 large salads daily for the 2 of us; more peppers so we can flash freeze some; more Asian greens, beet greens and collards so we can freeze some. BTY we garden in containers & Earthboxes as our dirt is sand and full of nematodes that destroy crops. Drinking more water or peppermint tea instead of black tea or coffee - peppermint we grow and dry. We have been cutting back on meat/fish/poultry for both cost and health reasons. Using beans, lentils and tofu which are much much cheaper.
    Propane is also increasing in price dramatically, some reports are that it will double. We use propane for our emergency generator and the grill. We are buying 4 more small tanks to keep on hand for the hurricane season.
    Keeping a price book, or at least a list of the items you purchase regularly with the last price paid is also extremely helpful in figuring food budgets and don't forget to eat in season when prices should be lower.

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    1. Thanks for the great ideas. We are carnivores here but we are working in at least one dinner a week as a no-meat meal. It's crazy how the prices of beef has risen. Hamburger is now as expensive as a decent cut of meat used to be.
      Great idea on keeping a notebook. I've been trying to do it in my head but a notebook would much smarter to keep.

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  6. SCI,

    California is bad with the drought, along with several other states. Come spring and into summer lettuce may run at minimum $5.00 a head. We all need to make sure our preps are in order, garden, process, and put away our foods. We may also want to keep an eye on our gardens when prices go up. We maybe come targets of people taking our vegetables when we least expect it.

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    1. I heard the same thing about lettuce. $5 a head, geesh.
      Lindsey Williams has been saying for a few years now that there won't be a food shortage, you just won't be able to afford it. It's starting to look like he was right.
      LOL You know me well enough to know that the thought of folks raiding the garden gets me riled up. I'm afraid you just might be right.

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    2. I've already read about people raiding wood piles. Just sad.

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  7. And this could be a real opportunity for local produce to become even more of a viable and marketable commodity. It was close already with the rising energy costs but add a drought in and who knows. In the long run if it switches even more people into looking for produce locally it may just be an event that saves lives by changing what we think is viable and buying habits along with it.

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    1. As usual, you see and speak the truth. Things once thought to be valuable will most likely change. Some of the things now seen as a "hobby" might turn out to be the best investments of survival.

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  8. The best thing about Indiana that I miss is the farmer's markets. Most food was raised in Indiana. Melons, corn, lettuce, all right from a 30 mile radius of where I lived.

    When we moved to Florida, I couldn't wait to eat pure food grown locally. Everything comes from Mexico and China. Now our orange crops got "black drop" and the freezing temps got the strawberries. Nothing edible grows in this sand.

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    1. I'm in Florida, too, and you actually can grow a lot of food here---if you plant in October or November! Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, kale, collards, mustard greens, beets, carrots, and potatoes are all planted in my garden right now. Granted, this "winter" has been less cool than the broccoli and kale would like. But the rest seems to be holding its own! Summers are only good for growing okra, field peas, asparagus beans, and maybe some sweet potatoes. Don't give up!!! Add some organic matter to your sand and give it a try!!

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    2. We're digging out about six inches of sand next week and amending with top soil and compost. Last year's kale is getting ready to bolt from the original stalks! Never had that happen before! The leftover sand will be quite a surprise in the back yards of snowbirds after they've left. Lol

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    3. I didn't realize how hard it is to grow things in Florida. I just assumed that as nice a climate as yours would just naturally grow. I don't know why I've never stopped to think of your sandy soil.

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    5. Sand = no nutrients, the roots have nothing to grip, and water passes right through. Like I said, most food is shipped in from out of state.

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  9. I live in southeast Oregon and our conditions are the same as California. Extreme drought...no snow on the ground or in the mountains. California would have more water if they stopped the extreme environmentalists from holding back water from the orchards and farms. All because of a threatened bait fish or something. I saw on the news that one almond farmer with 1000 acres was going to have to let his orchard die because they would not give him the water he needs. This is a real wakeup call. Most people are so clueless. We have joined a coop and get staples in bulk and grow our meat, but in this climate veggies are almost impossible. I won't buy produce from Mexico, either. It is going to get worse as the biggest thing on American minds seems to be the super bowl and Justin Bieber. Keep prepping, folks

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    1. I heard about the almond farms and the fight for water rights but didn't realize that Oregon was in the same situation.

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  10. We buy few imported vegetables from California, we eat local in season and can or freeze our own. I am so tired of hearing about that state and could care less what happens to them.

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  11. Looks like I'm going to be busy this summer. :0)

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  12. I leave in the Central Valley of California. I am not able to leave due to jobs and elderly family members. Even though Sunnybrook doesn't care what happens to us I hope others do. Most of the crazy people are in the large cities on the coast. Most of the people in the farm lands are nice conservative folks that are being over ridden by the liberals. The drought is very, very bad. There are lots of us nice people just trying to muddle through. Don't judge all of us by the media. That being said we just finished making lots of raised beds and will be growing as much as we are able.

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    1. Good luck with your raised beds. I've noticed first hand that North and South California are almost like two different countries. I do know that many folks are leaving California for a variety of reasons. Austin, Tx has for some reason become a new haven for Californians. The problem with that is that they'll say they are leaving because of how crazy things are getting in California. They come to live in droves looking for a bit more freedom, yet when they go to the poles to vote, they vote the same as they did in Cali. Liberals have overrun what used to be a 5 star city and are transforming it into a mini California. I've watched that city change drastically over the years and finally had to leave because of it. Why move somewhere to escape the craziness and then vote the same way you voted in the past?

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  13. Yes, the drought in California has us thinking. Prices will go way up on whatever produce is available and multiple crops types are suffering. Many of those who work to harvest and process the fruits and vegetables, nuts, olives, rice and meats could be out of work. Think about the trickle down effect this will have on the already struggling economy. The havoc this drought could wreak might be felt for years to come.

    Here in Oregon, the snowpack is at less than 50 percent of normal in most of the state. It was 58 degrees here on Sunday when the historic high should be 44 degrees. Yesterday we had a high of 25 degrees. The weather has been crazy for us, just like the rest of the country but our extreme is lack of cold and moisture. We hope this changes soon and that we get a really good late snowpack in the Cascade mountains. It actually started raining here this afternoon. We will take any moisture we can get!

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  14. There is politics involved of course - Gov. Brown might state, "Oh poor farmers," but the state sells a portion of their water to Las Vegas so they can run all those 'pretty lights.' There is a drought, but there are also things that could save the state volumes of water; however, they wouldn't line the pockets of the politicians. Enough said.
    We don't have TV either - for 12-13 years now. Don't miss it either.
    And don't bother with cooking oils - they aren't good for you, butter is as close as some cream, and lard is free or nearly free if you know where to look. I have never tried dandylion root coffee, but might have to if things keep up.
    Take care and keep well.

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  15. We drove by Mt Shasta earlier this month (just south of Oregon) and there was no new snow on the mountain. It looked like it does at the end of a long summer and that was in January.
    If things don't change it's going to be an expensive year for food.

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    1. That's where my mom lives Rob. In those mountains. She said they were lucky if they had even got 2" of snow over the winter. I keep trying to talk her into moving down this way so she doesn't end up "toast" in one of their infamous wildfires. *sigh*

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    2. more propane was exported in two weeks than all the propane used to dry all the field corn produced last fall. Don't believe everything you here.

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  16. the propane fuel shortage was brought on by the need to dry the corn used for ethanol due to the weather. this as well as the drought in california (and wild fires) is causing tremendous price hikes for foods. dont buy hamburger...go ahead and buy the more expensive ground round or other cuts and either grind your own as needed...leaner more expensive cuts actually can be stretched a whole lot further than the stuff that contains a lot of fat...and you can always add a bit of fat if needed. this was a lesson learned from my grandma and my dad...and they both came from huge and poor families of the depression years. i have found over the years that this is actually quite true and even when cooking game like venison or bison or elk, you need to add fat. so it makes sense and cents to get the best you can afford and get two meals out of the best than one from cheap and greasy. here in northeast mississippi our gardens failed last year...lots of rain, warm temps and no bees to speak of...hoping with this gift of a deep freeze that this year will show some improvement to the gardens. regardless of how our gardens grow-food is becoming quite expensive. a tip i use for meats is occasionally i buy the meats/roasts that are placed on market mangers specials (past the sell by date, but still quite good). i fill the frigerator up with it, let it thaw and then cook massive amounts in oven and crockpots...then i get out both of my pressure canners, jars etc..and spend many hours canning up meats, soups, stews, sauces etc... even steaks and sausage patties can be preserved by canning them and they end up being fork tender and very flavorful too. homecanned meats are also very convenient- for one thing, everything is already cooked and ready to eat if needed, and two, it is so very easy to make a meal on the quick and in little time at all.

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    1. Great information, thank you for sharing.

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  17. When I was a third grader, we moved to California from Georgia and lived near Folsom lake. Recently I saw a Fox News article about the drought out there, and they showed the very place where I used to go down and swim, called Rattlesnake Bar. It was a beautiful part of the lake, filled with dark green water. Now, all the news story showed was a mud hole. No lake left at that end.

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  18. The SW tip of arizona is also a major veggie supplier,and in the edge of the drought zone.I'm waiting a couple weeks before I get me garden in,just to be sure.
    Dean in az

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    1. I sure hope you guys don't get pounded by this drought. We are still a little ways from being able to do any garden planting. It IS almost time for our cole crops to be planted though. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for all of you guys out that way. Good to see you again Dean!

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  19. I'm so glad you called food an "investment". Most people only keep about 3 days worth of food in their houses. When we get lower than the 6-9 month mark, I start wigging out. I employ the method of only shopping the outer rim of the grocery, only venturing in for coffee, flour, sugar, etc. I think most people are so far removed from where their food comes from, things like inclement weather roll off their backs. Here in Indiana, I was raised on a farm. BTW, not missing a thing not having a TV, except The Walking Dead.

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    1. I had to laugh about you "wigging out". I thought I was the only one! At least I'm in good company. We don't have tv here but we do have a Netflix account. Since we can't stream movies here (uses too much bandwidth) we use the DVD option. I'm still waiting for the next season of The Walking Dead to come out on DVD. I wish it would hurry up!

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  20. I grow 400 acres of fresh market sweet corn in Nebraska and have been prevented from shipping it to California by the California department of Agriculture because we are considered a corn boar infested state-NOT. This is protectionism and no less as I can ship into all bordering states. It is easier to ship to Canada than to California. California ships their white flies to nebraska and I don't complain. If you see a shortage of fresh market vegetables this summer in California, Part of it will be for political reasons.

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