This is not a story from some gloom and doom website. It’s from The Weather Channel. Get ready for much higher prices. I hear cat food doesn’t taste that bad.

California Drought Threatens Food Supply of All Americans; Collapsing Aquifer Sinking the Land

Stephen NeslagePublished: May 22, 2014, 3:23 PM EDTweather.com


Cracked: San Joaquin Valley sinking due to drought

Walk into any grocery store in America and there’s a good chance the fresh produce you see there was grown in California. Up to half of the nation’s fruit, nuts and vegetables are grown in the Central Valley, one of the planet’s most fertile growing regions, between Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Now, for the first time this century, the entire state is in severe to exceptional drought.

“It’s really depressing for us to leave ground out. We’re still paying taxes and payments on everything that’s non-production,” said Gene Errotabere, whose family has farmed the valley since the late 1920s. “I mean, it’s this whole valley. It’s just a breadbasket of our whole country here, and to see this much ground being fallowed is not something I like to see.”

(MORE: Texas Town Forced to Drink Toilet Water Because of the Drought?)

Errotabere says his farm is in uncharted territory and on the verge of catastrophe. Thirty percent of his fields have been fallowed this year, and if these conditions continue, more growing operations could be shut down.

“If we have one more year like we had these past two years, it’s going to be devastating out here. … We’ll probably have 60 to 65 percent of our production out next year.”

The consequences are staggering near towns like Mendota. Dried-up fields blow dust into the sky. River beds and canals, once full of water, are now full of dead weeds and rattlesnakes. Fruit orchards along Interstate 5 look like burned piles of firewood. Workers who used to make a living picking fruit and working machinery now stand in government supported food lines to feed their families. No water means no jobs.

This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. There’s no water for anything.

Jeff Holt, restoration biologist

Mendota Mayor Robert Silva doesn’t mince words when discussing the disaster.

“Roughly about 40 percent unemployment … it’s higher than normal right now because of the water situation and farmers not planting. It’s indication that it’s going to be close to maybe 55 percent by the time situation is over.

“It’s ugly to see people standing in line because they’re out of a job.”

USGS Photo

A pole is marked with the land levels in Mendota, California, showing the drastic sinking of the land for nearly a century.

The San Joaquin River runs through the heart of this arid growing region and in a normal year would flow with fresh snow melt from the Sierra. But there’s little snow in the mountains, and little water in the river.

“Imagine washing the dirt off your driveway. That’s what the water is like in the San Joaquin River,” said Jeff Holt, a restoration biologist with River Partners in California, who got emotional when he looked at what’s left of the river. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. There’s no water for anything.”

To combat drought conditions, farmers and cities use water wells to tap underground aquifers. But those aquifers are overused and the rapidly declining water levels are causing the once water rich cavities to collapse in a process known as subsidence.

A recent report from USGS hydrologist Michelle Sneed paints a grim picture: A valley the size of Rhode Island is sinking.

(WATCH: California Now in the Deepest Stages of Drought)

“About 11 inches a year … is among the fastest rates ever measured in the San Joaquin Valley,” she said. “It’s a very large subsidence bowl. We were also surprised the high rate of subsidence.”

It’s irreversible damage. One area near Mendota is nearly 30 feet lower than it was in 1926, increasing the risk for infrastructure damage and even severe flooding in the future.

“This subsidence is permanent,” said Sneed. “If water levels come back up, the subsidence will not be recovered. The land will stay subsided.”

Severe Drought in California

Severe Drought in California

The San Joaquin River is almost completely dried out near Kerman, California. (Stephen Neslage for weather.com)

65 thoughts on “U.S. FOOD SUPPLY IN DANGER”

  1. California has ALWAYS been a desert and without stealing water from the Colorado River, the snow caps of Northern California and Mono Lake, it will revert to the Stone Age culture that the earliest Europeans found there.

    This state has spent virtually zero on their water infrastructure over the years but is all ready to spend billions on some stoopid cho-cho train between LA and SF or “sensitivity training” in its universities (and give illegal immigrants in state tuition).

    The Obongo Admin shut off the water in the lower San Joaquin valley to save the stoopid bait fish, the Delta Smelt. which also has impacted jobs (21K of them) and food production. That Cali is experiencing one of their worst droughts in ages doesn’t help.

    Mother Nature’s Wrath + Liberal Progressive Policies = Death.

    That’s all ya’ gotta know.

    Oh, and the Obongonauts think that this fish is more important than human beings:



  2. The aquifer collapses, forever – where all that great, tasty food comes from…….can’t even sarcastically respond to that one. This story opened up another chapter of doom regarding unintended consequences. And the fucking linear thinkers out there with their broken window fallacy believe technology will one day exist to make it alllllll betttter. The takeaway? All you fuckers better stop eating my almonds!

  3. Let California sink into the Abyss. It’s Sodom and Gomorrah, especially San Francisco. And an earthquake is likely, given the massive change in topographic fluid dynamics and weight. A socialist liberal progressive shithole, they’ll get what they deserve.

  4. For most of the last 45 years the second biggest river in CA, the mighty San Joaquin River, has been a ag-sewage drain. So much water mining around it, that it is a under ground river.

    Since they lack water this year, maybe the farmers should take a trip to Israel and see how they irrigate their crops. The S. San Joaquin famers steal a lot of water from N. California. This is Monsanto country. I once stopped by a field and picked a bud of blue cotton LOL.

  5. The Great Lakes hold 20% of the world’s fresh water.

    Keep illegal Mexicans employed ………. build a pipeline to California.

    Problemo-o solved.

  6. When California collapses,the FSA Californians will move out iinto the rest of USA. That is not a pleasant future for the rest of us. Hopefully most of them will go to NY or I llinois.

  7. The reason California is sinking into the Abyss….

    The Pelosi Succubus….draining all life, spirit, and hope


  8. Hope,

    They want a re-vole on the train to no-where, as the cost is now 4X the orginal amount, and they have to show just how they are going to fund it. Gov. Moonbeam gots a idea, carbon tax revenue, except the train is not energy netural, but a energy guzzler.

    The best part of the train to no-where is the train first leg will be in the highest unemployment area, which is Merced to Bakersfield. Now everyone wants to vacation in Bakerfield in the summer at 112F , with air quality just slightly better than China.

    The other non-starter is the fares have to be cost effective, and at 4X cost factor, maybe won’t be built anytime in the near future. This thing is a Boston Underground boon doggle.

  9. Cat food is really not that bad.Don’t know about dog food but it looks about the same.Might as well get use to it now and it beats eating earthworms or grasshoppers. Tried those too when I was in the boy scouts.

  10. Meat Prices Skyrocket: Is Soylent Green on the Horizon?

    The crushing economic destruction of the American people is to borrow one of those great Orwellian terms from the oligarchy’s media shills “picking up steam”.

    Food prices, in particular meat prices are currently exploding into the stratosphere in inverse proportion to the purchasing power of American wage slaves who continue to be sucked dry by the corrupt government, the permanent war machine and the ongoing subsidizing of Wall Street casinos. It is a long holiday weekend and the traditional BBQ’s that will take place will likely feature more cheap hamburger cut with pink slime and additive packed hot dogs than actual steak and beef ribs. The next leg down on the collapse is under way and it is going to hit Americans in the pocketbook as well as their stomachs.

    A recent post from libertarian financial blog Zero Hedge “The Meat Crisis Is Here: Price Of Shrimp Up 61% – 7 Million Pigs Dead – Beef At All-Time High” (originally at The Economic Collapse by Michael Snyder) provides the following grim news:


    As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a “luxury item” for most American families? This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month.

    Leading the way is the price of shrimp. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of shrimp has jumped an astounding 61 percent compared to a year ago. The price of pork is also moving upward aggressively thanks to a disease which has already killed about 10 percent of all of the pigs in the entire country.

    And the endless drought in the western half of the country has caused the size of the U.S. cattle herd to shrink to a 63 year low and has pushed the price of beef to an all-time high. This is really bad news if you like to eat meat. The truth is that the coming “meat crisis” is already here, and it looks like it is going to get a lot worse in the months ahead.

    A devastating bacterial disease called “early mortality syndrome” is crippling the shrimping industry all over Asia right now. According to Bloomberg, this has pushed the price of shrimp up 61 percent over the past 12 months…

    In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.

    This disease has an extremely high mortality rate. In fact, according to the article that I just quoted, it kills approximately nine out of every ten shrimp that it infects…

    Cases of early mortality syndrome, which destroys the digestive systems of young shrimp, were first reported in China in 2009, said Donald Lightner, a professor of animal and comparative biomedical sciences at University of Arizona in Tucson.

    The disease, which kills about 90 percent of the shrimp it infects, traveled from China to Vietnam to Malaysia and then to Thailand, he said. Cases also were reported in Mexico last year, Lightner said.

    A different disease is driving up the price of pork in the United States. It is known as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and in less than a year it has spread to 30 states and has killed approximately 7 million pigs.

    The price of bacon is already up 13.1 percent over the past year, but this is just the beginning.
    It is being projected that U.S. pork production could be down by as much as 10 percent this year, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of 2014.

    The price of beef has also moved to unprecedented heights. Thanks to the crippling drought that never seems to end in the western half of the nation, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.

    Over the past year, the price of ground chuck beef is up 5.9 percent. It would have been worse, but ranchers have been slaughtering lots of cattle in order to thin their herds in a desperate attempt to get through this drought. If this drought does not end soon, the price of beef is going to go much, much higher.

    As prices for shrimp, pork and beef have risen, many consumers have been eating more chicken. But the price of chicken is rising rapidly as well.

    In fact, the price of chicken breast is up 12.4 percent over the past 12 months.


    In the words of the slimy mayor of Chicago never let a good crisis go to waste there is money to be made off of the rising cost of meat and with drought raging through California the cash register bells are ringing as big food corporations rush to increase production of chicken which will further drive up prices.

    There are very tough days coming, especially as the government offsets costs in programs – such as food stamps to continue to buy more jets, drones, tanks, bombs, armored personnel carriers as well as keep the gamblers who run the financial markets afloat perhaps there is the day coming where the convergence of forces sparks a new growth industry in providing an alternative food source.

    The reference to Soylent Green may be lost on some but any person of my age, science fiction movie fans and others whose knowledge of popular culture isn’t mired in the era of reality trash television is of course one to the classic – and like so many others of the era – now prophetic 1973 movie.

    The film starred macho man Charlton Heston while he was between his most famous gigs as Moses and head of the National Rifle Association and predicted a dystopian future of overpopulation, poverty and food shortages. Someone in the future had an innovative idea on how to solve the food shortages and that was Soylent Green. Considering the stupid, demented, unimaginative and psychotic qualities of our political elite it would be no surprise whatsoever if this idea is already bouncing around in the hallowed confines of the best and the brightest in Washington and New York.

    I saw the movie as a young teen and it has stuck with me ever since, when it comes to a grim depiction of the future it only lags behind “The Road” and “Idiocracy” in terms of terrifying scenarios.

    The weekly trips to the grocery store keep adding up as do gas, electric and housing costs – all of which are not included in official government calculations of what constitutes inflation as “Core Inflation” omits food and energy costs.

    For the past few years portions have been shrinking as big food conglomerates design packaging that is ever smaller while not lowering prices and luxury items continue to rise in price. With the meat price spike it is going to become imperative to alter my diet and finally appease my cardiologist who has been advising me to cut down on the consumption of meat for years now.

    Hey, I like vegetables, beans and rice and have a damned good and reasonable local produce stand very close to me so a change in eating habits is doable. What is troubling is that with the growth in pre-prepared convenient food over the last couple of decades that others may not be able to make the transition as easily as I.

    I suspect that at this rate that in some households across the fruited plain that the family dog may soon end up on the menu out of necessity as meat becomes increasingly priced out of the budget of the beggared masses.

    Soylent Red, White and Blue anyone?


  11. Make it “gourmet” cat food and I’ll be a fan. Seriously though – a good idea to start stocking up on nuts while you can. BC-LR to all

  12. Nice article Stuck (if a little long).

    Last time I went to Sam’s, I saw a lady (black) buying lobster and crab legs with her SNAP card. To enjoy the finer things in life, you have to be in the right demographic (FSA). They’re still living the high life.

  13. Reuters had a similar report this morning:

    U.S. faces higher food price inflation in 2014, led by meats: USDA

    By Ros Krasny

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The severe drought in California could have a lasting effect on U.S. fruit, dairy and egg prices, while prices for meats, especially beef, look likely to continue climbing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

    The agency said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014.

    That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but in line with historical norms.

    “The food-at-home consumer price index (CPI) has already increased more in the first four months of 2014 then it did in all of 2013,” USDA said.

    It said the California drought “could potentially have large and lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices.” The most populous U.S. state is in its third year of what officials are calling a catastrophic drought.

    The upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer grilling season, and USDA said home chefs will face sticker shock.

    Beef and veal prices, already at record highs, are forecast to increase by 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent and pork prices to rise by 3 percent to 4 percent.

    Both forecasts were raised in the latest report. The beef and veal CPI is up almost 10 percent so far in 2014.

    “The drought in Texas and Oklahoma has worsened somewhat in the last month, providing further complications to the beef production industry,” USDA said.

    A major factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), responsible for more than 7 million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.

    Sweets lovers and caffeine addicts will see some relief, however, since global prices for sugar and coffee remain low.

    The agency forecast sugar and sweets prices to rise by 1 percent to 2 percent in 2014 and prices for non-alcoholic beverages to rise by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

    “It appears supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items,” USDA said.

  14. No stealing Great Lakes water! California should build some nukes and use the pwer to desalinize the Pacific if they want water. Try not to put the nukes on top of fault lines or next to the ocean, though.

  15. For those of you Worried about meat prices you can still buy fish and chicken at reasonable prices.Those products are probably better for you in the long run. Go to Sam’s club and buy in bulk.I bought a bunch of tuna on sale there a couple months ago.

  16. OK, so my Great Lakes pipeline is a bust. I’m a “solutions” kind of guy. So,

    We can divert the Mississippi River to California.

    Or, transport all that Dakota snow to California.

    C’mon, work with me people. We MUST save California!!!

  17. bb buys bulk tuna from Sam’s club.

    bb loves mercury and Cesium. fuckin’ maroon.

    But, it DOES explain his brain diseased postings.

  18. Greetings,

    I live here in California and I”m shocked by the morons that wish to see our state collapse. California provides 1/2 of what you fools shovel into your mouths. What do you think you are going to eat? Dirt?
    We may be the home of the FSA but we are also the world’s 8th largest economy. We pay out far more in taxes than we receive back so that states like Ohio and Indiana can still have some kind of functioning infrastructure. Lets not forget that in parts of Indiana, 1 in 4 of their workers are now on SSDI – maybe that is the real home of the FSA.

    I’m amazed and will always be amazed by the doomers as they just do not understand that the collapse they wish for will swallow them, their families and their friends as well. Your suicide wish should not involve the rest of us.

  19. I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with radiation, nope, nope, nope.

    Or as Hope so aptly pointed out, it is a DESERT, so again, nope, nope, nope.

    The “unintended” consequences of diverting the midwest’s water to the desert, will be devastating for sure.

    Ah well, this should only effect the foods we need to eat to be healthy, so really, it is a boon for the ACA as with less nutrition we get sicker and sicker and need the gubment’s help even more.

    Gotta love it.

    Thanks goodness it is May, not October, and there is still time to plant some taters, tomatoes, onions, carrots, grow a bunch of spinach and kale and get my canner and freezer ready. Looks like that whole “doing it for fun” garden thing is quickly becoming doing it to survive.

    Interesting times indeed.

  20. Through excellent water management the state of Nebraska has managed to rebuild its water aquifers in the face of extended drought conditions.

    Its too late for CA, but maybe KS, OK and TX can take some notes.

    PS: 90% of my food is from work or friends. We buy veggies from a local garden, and (thanks in a large part to TBP) have even started our own little garden.

    Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, many herbs and of course some straw berries.

    I’m clearning a spot for a larger garden next season, and building a compost bin.

    Bring it on US, the only thing I’ll miss is my beloved Cashews.

  21. I just got back from the slaughterhouse. There were three other farmers there, all on the same sheet of music- range free, open pasture graziers. All of us have already sold out our spring piglets and were already booked for the late summer farrow. We talked about prices- pigs are going for the same amount per pound live as beef was last year. The owner of the slaughterhouse said they were looking at a crisis point where the price was about to offset the demand for his bigger customers (industrial-ag guys) whereas the small guys were all excited about the future and our ability to actually compete against operations a thousand times our size for customers. Remember that anyone who is shopping for a non-GMO based organic product treated in humane fashion has already been converted. People who think they can trade off their twelve packs of Sam’s Club CAFO ribeyes for 50 frozen Chinese tilapia filets fed human excrement and stay ahead of the game in terms of nutrition are only fooling themselves.

    As far as that land level thing, while I am sure water plays a part of it, the bigger part is soil depletion. It takes approximately 1,000 years to build a single inch of soil. Soil is not inert, it isn’t a matrix of sterile particles that simply anchor roots so that you can pour oil based fertilizers onto them, it is a living skin to the planet and unless soil is replenished and fed a steady diet of carbon based composts, it loses tilth.

    (As a brief aside, I couldn’t help but notice that spellcheck was unable to correctly identify grazier and tilth as English words- I think that’s an ironic twist.)

    Since the end of the 2nd World War industrial ag operations like the ones in California have relied almost exclusively on petroleum based fertilizers to help keep food “cheap”. The trade off was the loss of virtually all the soil left since the ice age.

    Right now the rain is falling outside and the brooks are flowing. The driveway is lined with hundred year old lilac hedges and the air is redolent with the scent of them in full bloom. The cattle are on pasture up to their udders and it is almost impossible to stay up on the fiddleheads and nettles growing in profusion along the edges of the fields.

    My most important job on this piece of land after the health and safety of my family is the care of the soil, because from that all else follows. For Industrial Ag guys the most important thing is the profit margin, regardless of the costs long term. I do not feel sorry for these people and in fact I fault them for treating their sacred honor as stewards of the land as if it was immaterial to their bottom line.

    I have no idea where we are headed, but based on what I can see with my own two eyes the future is looking mighty dim for a very large number of people who have grown accustomed to the suppressed food prices based on half a century of strip mining the most fertile land on Earth.

    As Jackson Browne said, perhaps a better world is drawing near, but just as easy it could all disappear…

  22. Besides Obama, who’s done the most damage to this country?

    Pelosi and Reid, one’s from California, and the other from Neveda.

    I don’t feel sorry for what happens to California (or Neveda), time to pay the piper, get your karma, for continuing to elect these two criminals.


  23. California has about 12.5% of the US population and about 12.5% of the country’s GDP. If it makes you feel better to call that the “8th largest economy in the world” whatever, but the same could be said for other population groupings totaling 12% of the US population. That “whole donor” state thing is boring and irrelevant. First of all, it’s the libs that want to siphon money to DC and then redistribute it. It’s also warped by people spending their working years in northern states and then retiring in warmer areas where they collect social security. There are a lot of other tax “donor states” (like MN, MA), but we’re not always carping about it – especially to a bunch of libertarians and conservatives who don’t want the nanny state in the first place. I enjoy eating lettuce and broccoli in January, but my people evolved eating turnips, rutabagas and salt cod, so if I have to turn to those I could. If you don’t want animosity from the rest of the country, you ought to dial back that “8th biggest economy” and “we pay more in taxes than we get” crap. Also, stop being such a bunch of fags.

  24. @NickelthroweR………..wake up, you’re living in a app overload induced stupor. Most of you californicated pelosi inbred libtards have no clue about the very fact that your ‘eighth’ largest economy bullshit is fed with an international reserve currency – so lose the ‘we’re fucking specal’ shit and get a grip on the fact that the party is ending and you, me, and california aren’t unique, special snowflakes….we’re collectively fucked. Watching the machinations at the end game – having a front row seat to view the fed induced shitshow blow up is actually unbelievable if you see it for what it is. Many find that amazing to witness firsthand – and since we all know we fucked now but maybe, just maybe we see this for what it is….we can come out on the other side not only intact but able to better ourselves and our families lives. Thats at least why I stay tuned, I can’t speak for the others.

  25. California is “tax hell”; let hope they enjoy their liberal progressive democratic shithole.

    New York and California Suck For Taxpayers, and For Freedom

    by J.D. Tuccille| Mar. 18, 2014 12:48 pm

    United StatesNew York and California are the worst and second worst states in terms of tax burden, in what is less than shocking news from the financial website,WalletHub. The ranking tallies annual state and local taxes, and puts the Golden State and the Empire State at the bottom of the heap, with Wyoming and Alaska at the top as the two least burdensome states for taxpapers in a listing that also includes the District of Columbia (number 37, if you’re curious).
    In and of itself, the ranking is helpful—but it’s also helpful to cross-reference the tax ranking with separate rankings of economic liberty and overall freedom to see how they correlate. The result is a handy guide to places to live—or avoid like the plague.

    For its tax rankings, WalletHub compared: real estate tax, state income tax, local income tax, vehicle property tax, vehicle sales tax, sales and use tax, fuel tax, alcohol tax, food tax, and telecom tax.

    The five top-ranked states (least burdensome) are:
    1. Wyoming: $2,365
    2. Alaska: $2,791
    3. Nevada: $3,370
    4. Florida: $3,648
    5. South Dakota: $3,766

    The five at the bottom, “tax hell” are:
    47. Illinois: $9,006
    48. Connecticut: $9,099
    49. Nebraska: $9,450
    50. California: $9,509
    51. New York: $9,718

  26. Angel Albert Pujols Living in Tax Hell (California)

    By Teresa Ambord

    Chances are, even greatly higher taxes won’t tarnish the halo that comes with a ten-year, $254 million contract to play for the Angels. No matter where he plays, with a salary like that, Albert Pujols will pay the highest rate. In California this year, that means a state tax rate of 10.3 percent. Next year that may rise to 11.3 percent.

    Pujols signed with the Angels after leaving his previous team, the St. Louis Cardinals. In Missouri, the top tax rate was only 6 percent, plus 1 percent additional in St. Louis. The lower tax was attractive but the salary wasn’t, and compared to the offers he was getting, the Cardinals just couldn’t hold him. Pujols was also courted by Miami where there’s no state tax. But the Marlins – famous for fire sales – wouldn’t give him the no-trade contract he wanted. So . . . what’s a little extra tax anyway?

  27. “Also, stop being such a bunch of fags. ” ———- Iska Waran

    haha One of the best closing sentences evah!

  28. @hardscabble farmer: Thanks for the nice post… Here in Central Florida, we live in the middle of a 350 mile long sand dune. Average top soil around here is about an inch worth of organic matter slightly mixed with sand. Below an inch or so you have virgin sand.

    We made a kitchen garden about 5 years ago – not more than 200 sq.ft.. Started out a tilled sand. We compost everything except meats and grease (I hate maggots in the compost) and add that compost to the garden every month or so. Now we have 200 sq. ft. of 18″ deep earth that holds water (as opposed to sand- it’s impossible to overwater anything down here as it is like pouring water down a drain!), and the only limit on what we can grow depends upon the season. We add very little fertilizer and no chemical herbicides at all. When required, we use Neem Oil mix to wipe out the spider mites and fungus.

    I would bet that over the years (more and more every year) we have harvested several tons of everything from peas and bell peppers to tomatoes, carrots and beans — at least three crops a year with careful selection of what is planted.

    Our neighbors have all benefited from that wee garden as well, when we misjudge what we plant and have a bushel of peas left over from what we want to freeze.

    I enjoy every one of your posts (hardscrabble my tender old ass) and wish you and yours a lovely, not too dry a summer.

    We go into the wet season 1 June and hurricanes and tropical depressions will follow along shortly thereafter.. We have no water problems here except for when the stupid bureaucrats issue licenses to commercial bottled water companies to enable them to pump millions of gallons above replenishment rate from our aquifers. The bureaucrats will be the death of long before the weather will be.


  29. MuckAbout,

    Building soil isn’t rocket science, but it requires a longer event horizon than most people have. We have the advantage of livestock and long winters so we are able to build at a rate of 1″ per year on open pastures and as much as 4″ per year on the gardens. When we moved here the fields were filled with massive boulders and now they are for the most part buried under new soil, except for the sugar orchard where exposed erratics are beneficial to the growth of maple.

    I don’t know if you are aware of the Back to Eden gardening system, but it works extremely well for warm weather climates if you have a good supply of wood chips available to you. You should also check out AcresUSA one of the best periodicals available for small scale farming and gardening.

    I’m glad to see someone taking on the age old responsibility of feeding themselves and their family, there’s no higher calling than that as far as I’m concerned.

  30. Hardscrabble Farmer,

    Here in the north Georgia mountains we’ve followed the Back to Eden system with wonderful success. Initially our soil was good ole red Georgia clay and now we have a nice dark rich soil. The only additives used are compost, fulvic earth, and of course, the wood chips. Water is never a problem, even in a drought, the soil is moist under the wood chips, and the weeds are very much in control. Must not have harvested the potatoes carefully last year as I have a lot of volunteers this year. I just leave them in place and plant around them. I do envy your manure from grass fed livestock, there is just too much GMO feed in our area for me to risk my garden. For all those bemoaning the high prices of meats, stop eating them except for an occasional treat. We stopped buying the GMO fed meat and chicken when we discovered how poisonous it is, although I do miss my hot dogs. Since the wife and I went all organic 5 or 6 years ago both of us now weigh the same as we did in our teens and twenties. We have planted apples, pears, cherry and apricots and hope to have some for harvest in a few years. Hardscrabble, keep your posts coming…very entertaining and informative.

  31. Part of the reason we are having these problems is because we, the taxpayers, funded the water infrastructure in what was then an almost-empty part of the country, to encourage people to leave perfectly functional cities in the northeast, midwest, and southeast, with their fertile hinterlands and ample native water supply, to go out and settle the deserts and arid arrayos of the far west.

    The amount of money and energy shoveled into concrete infrastructure to enable these arid places to support 100x what their native water supplies could carry, has resulted in infrastructure we will no way no how have the energy to support as fossil fuels deplete, and has financially wrecked and substantially depopulated the areas that COULD support much more population and were once the most prosperous places in the country.

    Fuck BuRec, fuck the BML, and every other government agency and government program that strip mined the fertile, moist areas of the country to steer the settlement and overpopulation of an area that is going to utterly flounder no matter how much more money and resources we dedicate to keeping it livable.

    Will we continue to compound this tragic 100 year mis-allocation of resources by piping water from the midwest to these places? Good grief- have places like St Louis, Memphis, Chicago, and the rest not been robbed enough already to build the hundreds of dams, weirs, aquaducts and highways that make it possible for people to act as though the desert were really a plausible place to live?

    No way no how should any water be diverted to the west. If you want water, come back east to MO, IL, WI, PA, GA, TN, MS, IN, OH, MI, and the other depopulated places with their good farmland and fresh water. The west could go back to being the true west. I have always maintained that California doesn’t have any problem that couldn’t be solved by moving half the population out of the place, as well as reversing welfare statist policies that spread ruin wherever they are implemented.

    And the west is and has always been one gigantic welfare state. It was the government subsidized transcontinental railroad that opened the west up to mass settlement to begin with. Then it was the Bureau of Reclamation that built the hundreds of gigantic dams that made it possible for a city like Las Vegas or Phoenix to even exist. It was government defense contracts and their above-market-wage jobs that made the “miracle” economy of CA in the post WW2 era. It has been the Bureau of Land Management that has made it possible for many ranchers to lease cheap land to graze their herds on.

  32. I am shocked by this, shocked I tell you.

    I remember saying how prices would explode, and that the practice of feeding grain to grow meat was an absurdity and would eventually prove too expensive to sustain.

    There is no food crisis in the US. What a load of shit.

    The US has he Great Fuckng Plains. The Great Lains can grow enough fod to feed the country any times over.

    Just do not feed what coes off it to cows.

    Local grown fruits and vegeables will have to replace the California produce. Big deal. People should be eating local grown anyway.

    Nickelthrower, with all due respect, fuck that cesspool California.

  33. Sorry about that. Using a touchscreen and it is dropping letters. Grammar looks ok in general. Spelling not so much.

    Who needs all the letters anyway.

  34. “I live here in California and I”m shocked by the morons that wish to see our state collapse. California provides 1/2 of what you fools shovel into your mouths. What do you think you are going to eat? Dirt?”

    I see your comments are being smashed. Rightfully so.

    California produces a wonderful abundance of food. Dollar wise, it is #1 because of specialty foods such as nuts, avocados, etc. Survival wise, meh. I’ll take Iowa and Nebraska and Texas any day.

  35. Chicago999444

    Nice rant. But, for God’s sake, don’t encourage people from California to move back here (especially Illinois). This place is a socialist shithole as bad as California already, with more people on welfare than have jobs (just like California and New York). As I’ve said for years, just give California to the Chinese for the debt we owe them. They’d do a much better job of running the place. Or turn it over to the Mexicans, they’re taking over anyway.

    We have plenty of water around these parts, but we’re not giving any away. Nobody around here eats fruits or vegetables anyway, you might lose weight if you did, and we can’t have that. Keep the Californians in California, nobody wants ’em, nobody wants liberals, not even liberals.

  36. “Stephanie Shepard says:

    Llpoh – nice spelling and grammar. Did you graduate high school?”

    Oh, this is so perfect. The lady who was SLAMMED for her grammar and spelling comes back and SLAMS a regular for same.

    Did you catch that, Admin? I knew Stephanie had it in her from the beginning, and I was one of her grammar critics.

    TBP. Changing one mind at a time. Even if it’s only grammar.

  37. Got some nice info from this thread. Back to Eden gardening? Never heard of it but will look in to it. AcresUSA periodical? Sounds like an excellent resource. Here’s the link to the site:


    Now’s a good as time as any for a commercial break, brought to you by Trojan, courtesy of a ZH commenter whatsinaname, on the “Caught Red-Handed: This is What Zoomed in Gold Manipulation Looks Like” thread:

  38. AWD, not to worry, all the Californians who are leaving are the WORKING Californians who want to: A. Work for a living, and B. live somewhere where you can find a decent house for less than $800K.

    I suspect that everyone who decides to stay on out there will either be the welfare recipients or the Rentier Uber-Rich, and a relative handful of middle class people to serve the rich as lawyers or accountants or doctors… or serve the poor as bureaucrats and social workers.

    Businesses are leaving and taking the remaining middle class jobs with them. Even high tech is starting to look elsewhere. Musk will be building Tesla’s battery factories elsewhere, possibly in Arizona. Austin, Atlanta, and other sunbelt burgs beckon to businesses weary of the bureaucracy, the taxes, and the cost of real estate.

  39. I grew up in what is now referred to as Silicon Valley. Back in the 50s when I was a kid this valley was some of the richest farmland in the world, and the canning companies were the largest employers in the area.

    Today all that rich soil is paved over with asphalt, concrete and houses and commercial building and all those huge building that once were the canneries are now large condominium projects.

    I’ve always said a day will come when people come to realize what a tragic mistake that was.

  40. SSS – difference between me and Steph is that I can spot my errors upon second reading of my posts, and do not try to defend them. I am a terrible typist, and do not proof read.

    Steph on the other hand…….

  41. Interesting thread-I learned a few things. I haven’t been commenting much lately-busy time of the year for me, and been doing a little gardening of my own. Been eating less meat and more veggies lately, so the vulnerability of supply troubles me. Alaska has a lot of great things going for it, including an intense, productive growing season. But most of the year, we are very much dependent on imported “fresh” vegetables. Anyone have a good recipe for squirrel?

  42. LL, I just attribed it to a little bourbon after dinner. You’re not defending it? Bull shit!

    It’s good to see NTR get what he deserves for his west coast attitude. I was just reading where Fukishima is going to irradiate Cali for the next decade, if it doesn’t turn into an extinction event first.

    Hardscrabble Farmer is on of the absolute best commenters on this site. LL should take note. Not only does HF live a phenomenally successful life, he gives the glory to whom it is due.

    I thought I almost caught AWD professing his faith, but I was wrong.

    Praise be to God, to whom belong all the honor and glory. And that’s no BS! (go ahead, down thumb me) Cheers and remember those who died for our freedom this holiday weekend. Why does it make me feel dirty to write that?

    I’ll be the other WB, Wrightsville Beach this weekend consuming adult beverages and putting on sunscreen. My remembrance will be for those who put food on the table, even if it means fighting in a war no one wanted. Thanks, Hardscrabble!

  43. “Llpoh – nice spelling and grammar. Did you graduate high school?” ——- Stephanie Shepard

    I’m guessing that was a Stephanie-dopple poster. Just a guess. Maybe Admin can verify.

  44. Not one mention of the trillions of dollars “created” by the FED?

    Y’all are missing the elephant in the pigsty.

    Convenient distraction, this drought thing. Up Up and away!!!

  45. You know who likes to dopplegang people? Someone who is very careful to avoid being caught, who is above suspicion? Who has the power to remain hidden, striking from the shadows?

    The Administrator.

    1. I have never doppled anyone – as far as everyone knows. 🙂

      The doppler should reveal themselves.

  46. AWD says:

    I wonder how that California de-salination is going to work out. Will they manage to get that radioactive cesium out?

    Reverse Osmosis can remove minerals as well as radioactive isotopes.

  47. It is always a slow day on TBP when speculation of a Stephanie dopple is debated.

    And Llpoh- There is a difference between my grammar flubs and yours, I don’t have an Ivy League education.

  48. Ouch! Nice one steph. And nice picture. Looking torward to you’re next investigative article writing.

  49. Fact. There is enough water in Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border to supply the entire U.S. with water for 5 years.

    The normal snowmelt around Tahoe from the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains is sent down the Truckee River to support …… Reno. What’s more important? Reno or California?

  50. SSS says:

    Fact. There is enough water in Lake Tahoe on the California/Nevada border to supply the entire U.S. with water for 5 years.

    Are we talking drinking water or irrigation water? Maybe you have a point, the country can get along without oranges, grapes, dates apples, cherries and other fruits and nuts from California. However, if we keep converting farmland and desert into residential land, eventually there will not be enough drinking water for Californians. (Fuck you Cali haters, your just hating cause you haven’t moved here yet. Except Sensetti, he’s cool, a former homie.)

    At some point we would be collecting each others urine to pass through a portable filter so we can take a drink.


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