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The California Drought, Food Prices & How to Prepare

March 2nd, 2014

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You may be clear across the country, and have heard little discussion about the current drought California is facing. Yet there is a good likelihood it can and will affect your food prices. Read on to discover why this is, and how you can prepare for it.

Some background: Much of the drought began in 2013, when the state received well below normal rainfall that year. Coupled with this issue, the neighboring Sierra Nevada region had only 10% of it’s average snowfall in December, leaving the reservoir levels at 30% of normal.  Almost immediately, desperate lawmakers passed mandatory water conservation orders across California to cut water consumption. The situation is serious enough for the Sacramento City Council to pass a water restriction forcing residents and businesses to cut usage by 20% or pay a fine up to $1,000.

To give you an image about the severity of this drought, this is what one blogger found as she drove through the farms of Central California, “…the fields were mostly dormant and being “prepared” for planting, but that did not prepare me for their utter NAKEDNESS. Not only were there no weeds or wild plants (even at the edges) but there were no cover crops, no mulches, no PROTECTION for the soil, either. The soil was dry and barren—a dust bowl just waiting to happen!”

How does the California drought affect your food prices?

For one, California is one of the leading food producers in the nation. With over 80,000 farms and ranches spread across the state, there’s a good chance that some of the food in your refrigerator was grown in California. Even more likely is that your olives, almonds, figs, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, strawberries, walnuts, dates and raisins were grown in the state – since California grows 90-100% of these crops distributed world wide.

Unfortunately, when these big farms aren’t getting the water they need, crops aren’t producing and even more troubling – fruit and nut trees take up to two years to recover. Therefore, families must anticipate two years of nation-wide increased food prices and food shortages. So, this begs the question-What you can do now?

Carolyn Nicolaysen, a disaster preparedness expert suggests families do the following before food prices start rising:

-Plan and plant a garden

-Stock up and store produce that is in season now

-Save and store 100% fruit juices

-Store abundant supply of any fruit or vegetable grown in California or any product using these as an ingredient.

-Store foods that contain any California grown produce as ingredients.

-Can or freeze and store produce grown in your garden (find a mentor to help plant and can if needed, help is out there!)

***Friends, what will you do to prepare for the increase in food prices? 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Happy New Year from Humble Seed!

January 2nd, 2011

 

The New Year is a wonderful time of year. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past year, including the good, the bad and the ugly, and it’s an opportunity to look forward to new positive adventures and experiences. Goals, or resolutions, are a great way to plan for a better New Year, and today, New Year’s goals have gone far beyond the common ‘lose weight this year’ standby.

One goal that many people are planning for in 2011 is planting a spring and summer garden. With food prices expected to rise in the New Year and the continual growth of the back to basics lifestyle, families are looking for ways to lower their grocery bills and live life more simply. The recession has not only cut into wallets but also revived a genuine need and want for wholesome goodness.

Gardening is a great way to maintain a steady supply of fresh herbs and vegetables, and gardening does more than saving you money and providing you and your family with the very best foods possible: it’s a wonderful family activity. For even just an hour a day, you can present an opportunity to get the kids away from video games and cell phones and spend quality time together, learning about the how, what, where, when and why of the food world. If you have any elderly people in your life that you’re taking care of, you can get them out in the garden, weather permitting, and enjoy each other’s company.

If you would like to eat fresher, healthier foods in 2011—who doesn’t, right?—then add ‘Spring Garden’ to your 2011 goals list. If you’re already committed to planting a spring garden but not sure what to plant, visit our Products page for a variety of ideas.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, full of great experiences!

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