This week KQED ran a segment called "Heat and Harvest," a story about how climate change is and will continue to change agriculture practices in California. Here is the linkHeat and Harvest Three thing: less frost days, more bugs for longer periods, more saline water. I won't go into the details, but basically cherry growers are producing less cherries because there aren't enough frost days to give them enough rest and tell the tree it's OK to blossom all of their flowers. The salt from the Delta is requiring more fresh water to keep from coming inland because sea levels have increased, and some aquifers are so salty, they kill crops. And, of course, more bugs because it's warmer longer. This year I went to purchase some Toyon honey from my favorite beekeeper, and he said he had non because the Toyon didn't blossom this year. I was confused when he told me, but it makes sense now. How is any of this going to affect your permiculture? I am doing some more research before I plant any new variety now.
I'm trying to base my subsistence more and more on the things that I find grow readily and that seem likely to continue to do so, and minimize the need for irrigation. So, this means acorns, and then winter crops like fava beans (and vegetables of course) which can be largely rain-fed. Then there's the suite of classic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern plants that can tolerate heat and drought provided there's some winter rain....olive, pistachio, fig, pomegranate, to a lesser extent almond, apricot, and certain mulberries. These should survive with only a few irrigations once established. The date palm might qualify as the ultimate long-term project. I'm also playing with, with promising results, stuff from the Southwest which can make a crop on just a few waterings.....Hopi varieties of corn, squash, and particularly tepary beans.
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