A Drought is Coming by Mel Bartholomew

About every 50 years, the earth experiences a severe drought lasting from three to six years. Sometimes these can occur as frequently as every 20 to 30 years. The last one in the United States was during the 50s, so we’re overdue now, and 2012 seems to be the year of the beginning. How long -- no one knows. How severe -- no one knows. But it is Mother Nature’s warning to stop wasting water, especially for gardening and agriculture with traditional water-wasting methods.

And here are some startling facts: Of all the water in the world, only 20% is fresh, the rest salt.  Of that 20%, half is locked up and unavailable. That leaves little for all our domestic uses, including manufacturing.  Little wonder then that all the experts preach water conservation. Of all the crops grown, grass and all types of grain, including rice, take the most water to produce.  Guess what takes the least water of all foods? Vegetables and fruits! Since most meats live off grass and gains, you can see the advantages, as far as water is concerned, of living on a low-meat diet.

Now if row gardening takes 10 times as much water to produce the same  harvest as our SFG system does, it shouldn't  take too much noodling to decide which method to use. The government, in its role as guardian and adviser, could and should be the leader of a movement to encourage only water-saving methods. This could apply to both home gardens and small-scale farming. How many gallons would be saved? The answer is easily enough to make it worthwhile, especially if it’s a better method that is kinder to the environment and has all the advantages of curing many other ills of the world. But you'll find out more about that in my next book, SFG to the Rescue. What do you think we can do to spread the word to the places and people that do the decision-making? Please write me and tell me your ideas!

For more on the current state of drought in the United States, see the SFGF Newsletter, August issue

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