Introduction: My parents are driving down to Palm Springs for my uncle’s 70th birthday, and have taken the liberty of expanding the trip into a wine and craft beer tour in order to help my brother source some potential new beers and wines for his store in Calgary, Point McKay Wine. My parents are, of course, Very Sad that they have to do this Difficult Work, and are taking one for the team.
My mother is sending back the occasional email update, and I have received her blessing to share her whimsical reflections on the trip. With no further ado, I warmly introduce you to Part 1:
As we drove through the growing area from Redding to California by way of highway 99 and I5 I noticed something odd with a few orchards. Skeletal trees with branches raised in supplication stood in a patch of land of about 5 acres. But just next to this dry acreage, new plantings were budding green and people were busy tending the plantings. On the other side of the dry lot were mature trees in full green splendor.
To me, it looked as if the irrigation was turned off that one dry patch of land. I looked around at the hills that were not cultivated and they were covered with green vegetation. And yet, I remember when we drove through that same area in the seventies and eighties, that same hilly area was yellow in color.
So, why did a farmer turn off the water from one patch of land and not another? All the orchards are irrigated along the ground, not sprayed from the top. The farmers have a very efficient way of watering their crops. Were some farmers paid to turn off the water? Was that one particular patch of trees chosen because the trees were too old and not producing enough crop?
The news on the TV choose one of the few dry patches with the dried up trees to show the dire lack of water but the TV avoids showing right next to the dry area, the cultivated green areas which are more abundant.
We did stop to buy some almonds, those nasty almonds that drink so much water. And I say keep on drinking the water dear almonds.