Saturday, December 26, 2015

Agricultural crisis coming?

The weather in the New York City metropolitan area has been bizarre in the extreme.  As recently as a week ago, there were still some decent-looking flowers growing in neighborhood gardens, which is downright unheard of for December--normally, all the flowers and deciduous-tree leaves would have been gone at least a month and a half ago.  Our Christian neighbors got T-shirt weather instead of a snow-on-the-ground white Christmas, with the local temperature yesterday hitting a record-high 70-something degrees Fahrenheit (over 21 degrees Celsius).  It was so warm that we had to reopen a couple of windows.

But today's news was almost shocking--on the way to shul (synagogue), we actually saw newly-sprouted crocus leaves.  We wrote off the first bunch of crocus leaves that we spotted as possibly left over from last winter, but when we saw a second bunch in a different garden, it became crystal clear that the leaves were neither old nor figments of our imaginations.  And they weren't just barely poking up through the ground--they were already at least a couple of inches (5.08 centimeters) high.  We hadn't noticed them before because, hey, who looks for crocus leaves in December?  Normally, crocus-flower leaves would not appear in this area until mid-January, at the very earliest.  I'm afraid to think what this radical change in the local weather could do to the local agricultural cycle.

Speaking of radical weather, here's my note to California farmers:  Please, please switch to drip irrigation wherever possible as soon as possible, before the whole state turns as dry as the Gobi Desert.

Heaven and/or conservation and/or climate-change planning help us all.


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