Farmers in California are facing an existential threat. We all know California is in a drought. This affects us all... farms, factories, homes, municipalities, cemeteries, even golf courses.
Yet our state legislature is considering emergency measures that single out farmers alone. Curtailment of water to farmers across the state is on the agenda when the legislature meets August 3rd.
California farms feed us, here in California and all of the nation.
California farms are making powerful moves to fight climate change worldwide by implementing broad measures to store carbon in the vast soil resources of their farms. For decades now, we've been using drip irrigation and other modern irrigation technologies to conserve water. Our water saving practices are already the future of farming. But they are at risk if we cannot last through this season because the state cuts off our water.
As a board member of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), I urge you all to take the time to read the CAFF reports and to contact your state legislatures in support of the small family farms that grow our food. Our water is in trouble. And you can help. Urge your state leaders to include support for small farms in the drought emergency budget:
- Petition: Please visit www.caff.org/rescue-small-farms-california for an already populated letter that you can send right to your representative in support of small farms. All you have to do is sign your name.
- Social media: Take your own picture of an empty plate (symbolizing the effects of farm water curtailment). Tag your representatives and use the hashtag #rescuesmallfarms.
Traditional government aid is rarely designed with small farms in mind. And where large farms can purchase water, drill deeper wells, or change crops—small family farms don’t have that option and will have to make tough decisions that not only affect this season, but the future of their whole operation. Now is the time to make some noise to protect small farms.
We do a lot to reduce our water use at Frog Hollow Farm. From applying compost to planting cover crops, we're always thinking about how to retain water in the soil. We use conservation irrigation technology (drip or micro sprinklers) to apply water to the trees right where they need it, on the rootzone. And we’ve installed moisture sensor technology to better understand our water usage and irrigate as efficiently as possible. We’re so heartened to see pushes for more regenerative and sustainable agriculture practices like these ones at a national level. Thinking long-term is so important. But we also need to think short-term and make sure that the farms already on the cutting edge of agriculture don’t die out with the drought.
Thank you for all you do to support our farm and the community we help sustain. You are an essential part of our essential business.