On rain and expectations

We didn’t get Indianapolis-level rains this past weekend but we did end up having about 3 inches fall over the weekend with nary a break for things to dry out a bit. It really had me thinking about how I would cope if I was utterly dependent on those vegetables to make it through the year.

For all the complaining the local foods people (and I consider myself one) do about the industrialized food system and it’s impact on the way people live their lives the rains gave me something to think about. I’ve had great expectations for the garden this year, maybe expectations that are far too large given my greenhorn gardener status. As the water was slowly creeping up on my garden plots I was getting pretty upset and in a proportion far greater than the real importance of that food to my life.

I want to be more responsible for what goes on my table. I want to know the place it comes from. I don’t want it to have lots of mileage on it before it hits my table. I want my kids to know where their food is coming from and have a hand in actually providing it for themselves. The reality though is that these are all the thoughts of someone who can afford to have such ideals because in reality my life, nor the life of my family, is dependent on that food. What if it were though?

If that water would have come up just a bit further the ground where the plants were growing would have been over-saturated. That soil doesn’t drain all that well (one of the things I’m hoping to change over the next several years) and based on my experience with the large amount of rain that fell in the Fall of last year it would have killed the plants. If I were relying on that food to eat soon, as well as to have something to put up for the Winter, I’d be in real trouble. Simply put it would have been devastating.

Maybe I’m not dependent on that food but I do have even more respect now for the people that grow the food that I am dependent on. And I’ve thought a lot the last few days about the people who are dependent on the food they grow and how such times have destroyed people’s live. It was only three inches of rain but it certainly provided a lot of food for thought.

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