Spring and Drought
The days are stunningly beautiful, and the meadow and forest verdant green, even in this fourth year of severe drought. The news is hard: California has a year of water storage left. What then? The drought is like a zen teacher, whacking us into consciousness: water is precious. Do not waste it or take it for granted. Everything you do with water impacts something else. Pump too much from the earth, and the earth may sink, the aquifer, collapse, and never be able to fill again. Collect too much in ponds and reservoirs and the rivers suffer. Move water too fast in concrete passageways and tunnels, and groundwater cannot restore. Contaminate groundwater with chemicals through agriculture runoff and fracking, and it is contaminated forever.
Biodynamic practices have allowed us to use much less water in irrigation. Compost added to soil increases the amount of moisture the soil can hold. We mulch the lavender and other aromatics to hold in moisture throughout the coming dry season. The grapes are almost dry farmed since we adopted the discipline of biodynamic farming.
Water is a living entity, Charlie Toledo told me. A newly discovered fourth phase of water can hold 1000 times as much information as a silicon chip, another friend, a scientist, said. It is so important we treat water as the sacred source of living that it is. What information do we inadvertently pass on to water when we abuse it? What attitudes are stored in its fluidity? And when we honor it as the precious entity that it is, what message will it carry on?