1816 Year Without A Summer

1816 – Year Without A Summer – Massive Crop Failure, Food Shortages

1816 Year Without A Summer

A big preparedness lesson from history is the summer of 1816 – the year without a summer.

Apparently Spring seemed normal that year. But as the calendar progressed into summer, the temperatures & weather began rolling back. Cold temperatures and nearly permanent overcast was the new normal.

The weather in North America and Europe during 1816 never turned into summer. The cold and lack of sunlight was severe.

There were widespread crop failures as farmers lost crops and food shortages were severe across the northern hemisphere.

One Albany newspaper reported “There have been hard frosts in every summer month, a fact that we have never known before.”

Evidently no one knew why it happened back in 1816, before the days of telegraph or global communications. It was determined a century later that the eruption of volcano Mount Tambora in the Indian Ocean region was the cause.

Enormous quantities of volcanic ash had been thrown into the upper atmosphere where it circled the globe blotting out sunlight and lowering temperatures.

If interested further in the year without a summer 1816, you can read more about it on Wikipedia.

 
PREPAREDNESS LESSONS

I wonder what would happen today if a similarly major volcanic eruption blotted out the sunlight in the northern hemisphere and caused tremendous crop failures?

Instead of 1816, it’s 2018 or 2019, a time when most of the population depends upon big agriculture to bring their foods to market.

Imagine the difficulties due to our just-in-time systems which have fine tuned and optimized profits? From the time that a seed goes into the ground all the way till you buy it at the grocery store, it’s all built-in to be “just in time” based on current demand (no extra).

One thing for sure, many food prices would skyrocket.

Even if South America could handle the massive increase in production to feed the northern hemisphere (which they couldn’t), it wouldn’t make any difference until the following growing season.

I recall just last September, very early in the month we had a killing frost here in northern NH. I couldn’t believe it! My garden was toast.

There are natural events that can ruin your own production (or widespread production!).

Imagine if it were a time of SHTF self-sufficiency while depending on your garden to produce? Could you afford to lose part of a season (or a whole season?)!

So, what’s the solution? To store ahead a season’s worth of food!

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152 Comments

  1. Thanks a bunch Ken. We still have snow on the ground in places. I can just recently see the earth in my planters, About a month from the NORMAL planting season here – so now you just have to keep me awake at night. I may just go crazy enough to start counting out the number of individual rice kernels I have stored.

    1. We were just starting to see the ground again in lots of places. This morning though every square inch is white again. Frozen and cold on April 16th! Arghhh!

      All my starts are in the house growing like crazy, but I’m afraid I started too early with wishful thinking.

      1. Ken my Dollar Store has decent potting soil and big pots (need drain holes) for a buck a pop. Hope yours does too as my tribe is planning on a repotting party in a week or so.

      2. Doesnt even have to be frozen,,,
        I have stuff i couldnt set out because of the heavy rains, now some of it is dying because i watered it the other day and was supposed to be sunny and we got 2” of rain and didnt see the sun for 3 days, even the greenhouse doesnt help sometimes.

        1. Yes, same thing here. late frosts and freezes… and lots of water. No breaking of ground until at least 4 days of no rain. temps everywhere from 28 to 54 at night and highs from lower 40-78 so far.. warm days for 4 straight days then back to freezing….
          . raised beds in root crops are ok. they ahve survived all with lght cover . onions in raised beds.. not a years worth but more than we had last year!. on coming crops in trays have to set them in small pots next few days.. some will go in 4″. sweet otato slips have to be “trenched” in gallon, to hold under the lights.
          also increasing grain storage and encouraging those who are near and dear to do the same… if they do it fine. if not, they may not have biscuits and gravy.

    2. Looks like January/February around here again. Fresh blanket of 14″ of snow and deeper in some areas with drifting. Frost has not fully come out yet and probably what we did get back is now frozen again. Good news is that we may touch 60 this weekend, hopefully that is the true start to spring, our plants won’t get much taller inside.

    3. Yep here also. 4 inches of snow today after a couple of weeks of warm weather. Everything started budding and it will hit 28 degrees tonight.

  2. And stupid me just had to buy that baby tomato plant. I know better than that. Heck we are still getting down to 28 – 30 at night.

  3. Sorry Ken I have to respectfully disagree with your suggestion Not 1 year but 2 years worth of basic food stuffs. Right now most of us could afford it easily enough and given the Billybob article really all of us could if we put our minds to it. And given the Obama EO’s that would be in play AS well as the Gimme Dats and our poor level of OPSEC we need to hide (Plan B) that second year.

    Why year 2 because when you have to learn how to really garden that 2nd year will save your family and allies from true starvation. Also at least a full back up on seeds for that effort.

    Yep I have the results of an ice storm and sleet/snow on my garden as we speak. Plan for harsh weather and give thanks when you get something better.

    Pray and prep the darkest storm is still brewing

    1. I suppose I could have added the text “…and more” at the end.

      Regarding food storage, the more the better.

      Some are scared away by the notion of storing ahead “one year”, while suggesting two years may really seem overwhelming.

      Just bear in mind that it’s really not too terribly difficult. Bite it off one chunk at a time. (I have tons of articles here on the blog regarding food storage – just search)

      So for the newbie, start with 1 month. Then work towards 3 months. Then one year (you can do it!). Then as much as you feel right about after that.

  4. Oh btw the reason I mentioned Basic Food Stuffs is for the price of a single bucket of premade “Survival” food I can buy two or more buckets of basics like wheat, rice and beans.

    AKA happily that tomato plant will do just fine in a cat litter bucket with some drainage holes until you can transplant it or just move it into a 5 gallon self watering garden using LDS Preppers information on You Tube.

    1. NH
      You put the plant in a proper container, give it just the right amount of water, place it where it will get the most sun, talk to it daily – it grows like crazy – and then as it knows more about the seasons and nature, it falls over and breaks your heart. This is usually the case unless you go full greenhouse commercial growing with all the bells and whistles.

      1. Respectfully friend given NH’s weird weather I have become quite adept at growing stuff you cannot grow in NH. I do have supplemental LED Grow lights that use very little power (Solar Anyone ;-)) and am aggressive about avoiding root bound plants.

        We are PREPPING to Garden for when it counts friends. Experiment, seek out information how say the French grew citrus before the age of Green Houses. How much more time will we have to test ideas? Do it THIS Year friends.

      2. Hermit us Please do not tell that to my cherry tomato plant that has been giving me some tomatoes through the winter from my southern bay window. Not a lot and it’s the 2nd one I grew to replace the first before it died but hey FUN to give someone a handful of ripe tomatoes for New Years day.

        1. NH
          You remind me of Kevin in Water world with his one plant as a final grasp of life on the planet. :)

      3. Hermit
        Ive had that happen before,, in the greenhouse!
        Everything looks great, then all of a sudden one day it looks off, then the next day somethings gone terribly wrong and you lose everything. Fun stuff!

        1. Nailbanger and NH
          It is amazing how much artificial light is needed and how close to the plant it must be to match the sun output.

      4. I have been growing seeds for 17 years now. I have eventually found the right system for our climate and how to start them in the house without having a lot of die off. And then how to plant them and what to cover them with in case of a summer frost. It takes a lot of trial and error but it can be done. We also take a late tomato plant or 2 and then grow some lettuce all in pots and winter them over inside so we can have BLT’s or salad all winter. It can be done.

    2. NHM
      I havent bought long term food because of the cost/shipping, ends up being wayyyy too expensive,
      However
      I have gotten grains from amazon prime with free shipping and packed them away myself in mylar lined buckets with oxy absorbers and rice bought locally on sale same thing and all manner of canned and bottled foods bought locally on sale or bulk, wayyyy cheaper and stuff we will eat anyway,
      😎👍🏻

      1. Very Smart Nailbanger! And packaging them yourself is both cheaper (unless an awesome sale) AND you can package say beans, rice, salt and bullion together in a bucket.

        Ken and Friends share your hard fought lessons in cheating Mother Nature. Has anybody else used UGLY Blanket gardening? I save good tree limb trimming (they make easy tee pees) and buy up all the old ugly blankets I can. When frost or ice storms threaten I put them over my gardens and save a lot that way. Last years early Frosts (plural) hit I managed to keep over 50% of my garden safe and productive. The lack of enough blankets to cover all of them is why that is a priority item to look for at yard sales and thrift stores.

        1. I use Agribon row cover quite a bit, cover whole fields with the stuff, lately though i have had trouble with pheasants diging holes through the stuff, really destructive, makes me hate the doogoody save the animals people for banning avicide, you used to be able to just poison the birds, problem solved, but the birds are more important than me being able to grow a crop,,, WTF. Is wrong with that picture,
          Hence
          Who is John Galt!

          1. @ Nailbanger
            Pheasants are good to eat. Set out a Pheasant trap. It’s just a larger version of a small animal trap. When you catch one or two, take the trap behind your house and dispatch them with a BB gun. No noise, no fuss, no muss. That’s what I do with squirrels. Trap them then tap them, silently, out of site. And then enjoy some Pheasant under glass. :)

          2. Crabbe
            Got 8 in the traps, still got 12 to go or so, my benjamin marauder wont kill em,,, shot gun or AR with blitz kings only way, have 2 ive hit with the pellet gun and they limp around is all that accomplished, going to try again with that but so far its a waste of pellets and time. The remainders are smart, AR is best as i know i can hit them at distance, 22 is just asking for trouble with ricochets, so not even going to try that again,

          3. – NB –
            I wouldn’t know any poachers, but I have heard that if your pests get used to one kind of trap, change to another they haven’t seen. Snares or even a rattrap might make a world of difference in production, especially if you use several at one time.

            – Papa S.

        2. This is how I saved my garden this year from the last 3 ‘Easter Snaps’ that got very cold-saved it all this way. Corn, beans, squashes, southern peas, tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, cukes, etc. It takes a lot of blankets but it was worth it. I am getting ready to harvest my first squashes and peppers soon.

          1. Daughterofaghosttown and the others that use blankets (or ugly blankets) to cover crops – Could I suggest that you all look into quilting with a treadle sewing machine of your choice to make “crop quilts”? You can make them just the right size to fit your crop needs, and if you use a treadle to sew them together with, you’re sewing “green” with very little carbon footprint today. Whoo-hoo! Plus, you won’t have to call them “ugly blankets” anymore! They can be as beautiful as you! (Ok, that last comment may have been over the top since I don’t know what any of you look like.) But, I can say that they could be more beautiful than me! Treadle on my friends!

            CD in Oklahoma

          2. CD in OK I use those ugly blankets and tree trimmings to protect my gardens fruit bushes and semi-dwarf trees because in a thrift store or yard sale I can get a big blanket for what a dollar sometimes less. Hard to buy that amount of fabric let alone work time to make quilt blankets for that price :-) That and synthetic blankets which I prefer for the garden last forever.

            I just wish I could figure out a way to mute those colors to less visible ones. Suggestions?

          3. NH Michael – (Hehehe) I guess that’s what I get for popping off. I thought maybe you wanted MORE color than your ugly blankets provided, so I guess a bright colorful Texas Star pattern quilt is out of the question.

            Ok, here’s my best shot at bailing myself out. From what I understand, the fuzziness of the blankets doesn’t necessarily provide the protection that you get from covering your plants, but simply the act of trapping some air under the blanket does it. If that is so, and if you want muted colors, then I would suggest that military surplus fabrics could be used. Cut and sew together drab-colored ponchos, tarps, coats, and unidentifiable-use equipment covers to make a “quilt” (without the batting and its required quilting) that fits each bush or tree perfectly. As the bush or tree grows, add additional borders to enlarge the quilt.

            You might be able to mute the colors of your existing ugly blankets by sewing camouflage netting on them? That’s all I’ve got.

            CD in Oklahoma

        3. I use old sheets, some flannel and if they need more heat add a shop light hung in the middle near the bottom as heat rises, and of course the roots are down there. Kept our dwarf peach trees fruiting for years.

  5. Good article, thought provoking.
    I can attest to the effects of weather on crops first hand, a farm on Oahu lost all 12 acres to flooding this weekend, they were a big supplier for that island, Kauai has had record rains as well over this weekend, breaking records set in 1906 i believe, all farms over there effected.
    Here on Maui we have had constant rains in our area, my neighbors farm has sustained huge losses to their berry and onion crops and most of their filler crops as well, they farm over 100 acres, the acerage sounds small but here in our small market it is significant, personally in my fields i hav even been having trouble with some cover crops because of the extreme rains, stuff is just not growing right, high fungal and bacterial problems, damaged plants etc. its going to be an interesting year

  6. Getting very scary, Record cold which will likely be followed by a searing summer. Recent droughts are still in our memories. I’ve said it before we need to start building containment reservoirs instead of allowing gazillions of gallons to flow into the oceans.

    Perhaps the don can restart the strategic grain reserve which was sold off a number of years back. Maybe we could start stocking it with the soybeans that China will not be buying because of the tariffs. We do need to do something before it is too late (if it isn’t already).

    1. I think soy might not be such a good idea for human food unless its fermented into tofu, otherwise they need ta feed it to the cows etc, we got enough femmy fruitcakes

      1. Soybeans are 90% GMO, and soy by itself, is a hormone mimic-er. Both in males and females… makes men tend more feminine and messes with femine hormones , Children are maturing much earlier with the hormones added to chicken and soy added for protein to all kinds of processed foods..( chicken nuggets).. IMHO soy should be used for fuel.

        1. Just Sayin’

          The whole soy – estrogen thing was bought and paid for by the beef industry. In fact soy contains zero mammalian estrogen, (as opposed to cow’s milk which is artificially and naturally loaded with it) Soy has a phyto-estrogen which is physiologically insignificant in humans.

          There is definitely something evil going on with all the gender confusion today, I just don’t think soy is to blame. Folks in Asia have been eating soy for millennia and for the most part men are still men, women are still women.

          1. So many people are on the pill of the year- thyroid medication. And soy definitely interferes with the meds. People are nuts, soy became the great thing to eat so if a little is good, lots must be better. Now people are having all kinds of problems because of it. Everything in moderation, except chocolate.

      2. Banger,

        Technically tofu is pressed out of soy milk. Fermented tofu is, well, fermented, by any of a number of processes. Many fermented foods actually have amazing nutritional value, far in excess of the basic food.

    2. me
      AC posted that Oregon and Cali are going to get rid of damns that produce cheap electricity and serve as good water reservoirs. This to give more profits to a China control company – where the hell are there brains – ya I know but am to polite to mention it.

  7. We are still burning wood for heat. We usually stop burning towards the end of February, sometimes the first week of March. In all my years, I never had to burn in April, and here it is April 16th. From my guess, I would say that all these early crop failures will start to show up in the stores in about 8 to 12 weeks. I think TPTB know this, and I feel there will be a false flag shortly before that happens to distract the public. If you have any extra money, I would put it towards food at this point.

  8. On my hunting trip this year I observed the grass was dead and dry and the ag reports indicate the snow pack and rainfall is at 40% of normal. The 2 big crops in Eastern Oregon are beef cattle and alfalfa. Sadly, the ones who are hurt by this is the small rancher or farmer that is not able to drill a very deep well for water. Beef and pork will be cheap for a short time taking into account the loss of sales to China.

    It is sad to see an agricultural area when drought hits. No matter whether it is plants or animals, they all need water in order to survive.

    1. CaliRefugee,
      I am in the SW and the drought is hitting us HARD, We are going to have to more then likely sell at least half our herd if not more if we can’t find more pasture and that is highly unlikely since most everyone here is in the same boat. ( a lot of people are talking about having to sell) We are hoping we can get enough hay for next winter but don’t know. When we leased a place near us it had a hay barn and we always had two years worth of hay but when they sold it to subdivide we don’t have a place to store hay out of the weather so we don’t have the reserves so it is going to hurt.

      1. Also I know a few wheat farmers that are waiting to see if we get any rain and if not they will not be planting this year. The beans are not much better.

        1. Ranchers Wife;
          I was wondering if/when the Bean/Wheat Crops were going to get hit.
          FYI, from what I see in the forecast, no rain for at least another month, by the to late for the Beans/Wheat.
          Thinking a run to Adobe Mills and Cortez Mills is in order soon.

      2. Ranchers wife
        In Idaho, I see many ranchers covering their hay with giant tarps – mainly for keeping the rain from spoiling the hay. My late father in law did the same – one stack for the upcoming winter and the second stack for the second year, in case of poor crops or higher prices. I’m no rancher so I’m only presuming and your area may have different conditions.

        1. hermit us,
          Traps are a good idea but I don’t know how well they would work with the wind that we get.. I will mention it to the Rancher to get his thoughts on them. Thanks

      3. Ranchers wife from the words of my Uncle Paul who knows well the cyclic nature of beef ranching. If you have ANY Idea you might need to sell SELL. Sell some while there is still a market. Then later when your neighbors start flooding the market you have some cash in the bank.

        1. NH Michael,
          That’s what we are doing, checking around right now for the best prices and already picking which ones we are going to cull :(

      4. Central western NM is like NPR dry as can be. Every spring we have wind sometimes into June but this year the winds are stronger than I ever remember. FYI Old man made it through his knee operation in great form, I didn’t- tried to sleep in the waiting room. I drove home in windy conditions 3 hours last night, and am not going back today because they are saying gust could hit 60mph. And the fire danger, and still they do controlled burns. One just south of NPR got out of hand and is a real fire now.

        1. Old Lady,
          Glad Old Man came thru the operation good, prayers for a speedy recovery. Our wind is bad here I can’t imagine how it is down south. I know when I lived down that way the wind was always an issue.

  9. Seeds for at least five years, food for two. Seeds take up a lot less space, and if it comes down to that we have a LOT more resources for growing indoors.

    1. Agree Lauren AND awesome trading material for hum I don’t know maybe a couple of hens and a rooster?

      When food is short MONEY has Little Value. Seeds are cheap today, not so true when food security is on everybody’s mind.

  10. We try to store for a 2 year outlook on things . A local farmer lost over 125 apple trees a year ago because of a late frost . Some growing seasons things just don”t grow right . We had snow last week, a little unusual for us . Today is a sleet/rain combo. We have several plant starts but it is not warm enough outside to move them outdoors .
    We try to have long term food storage items that we cannot grow like rice , salt, sugar, and lots of bean varietys and wheat.

    1. Bluesman that is where the small homesteader has an advantage. My semi-dwarf apple trees are pruned low and with the needed Anti-deer protection it’s easy for me to cover them with my ugly blankets. That and I cannot figure out how to use the apples out of 125 trees :-) Too many Fed Rules for any interest in getting commercial. Now custom apple sauce Yum…

      1. NHM,
        Our few trees are also dwarf and we will be cutting up some old tarps to toss over them and bungee them if needed. The local guy is a commercial venture.and that was a small portion of his orchard. But still a loss to him . This has been an unusual spring, wetter than normal.

        1. Bluesman I started using tarps to protect from frost and ice storms. Changed over to blankets because they were so much better. That little padding from ice and sleet helps a LOT and a lot more temperature protection. Tarps are for leaky roofs and protecting equipment not living things IMHO.

  11. My wife and I have been discussing the biblical chapters on e stages of famine, (both temporal and spiritual), and even today, I feel strongly “impressed”, to increase our food storage and seed storages (all heirloom) out to a min8mum of two years for food and three to five years for seed. I sincerely hope I am wrong in my 8mpressions, but, I can see food delivery and production cycles being severely disrupted by intentional cyber attacks, and man’s sheer arrogance and stupidity. While, we normally store foodstuffs we normally eat, we are now upping our capabilities in purchasing more freeze dried proteins and regular legumes, and other goodies. This year will be our first try at potato bins, for growing, trying out two different varieties that work well in our area. Got excellent seed potatoes in those varieties. We live in 8nteresting times, our Krakatoa is Yellowstone Caldera, and we are on the edge of that one, geolocially speaking. Should be interesting…

  12. Very timely and thought-provoking article topic today Ken….
    it kinda ties into my mini-rant on the weekend about the weather as well
    noting here in PA we are much colder overall and much higher rain since last fall till now
    we have lost some hay due to flooding and are pastures are about 3 weeks behind in growth..
    To be a modern survivalist we need to adapt and adjust to these increasing changes
    that are out of the norm for us….like so many have said here before, the more we are tied
    to the “system” the less we notice the changes, sometimes so subtly, that are indeed happening: weather, politics, economic, spiritual things as well….but a good survivalist has the one quality strongly “awareness” and the inner strength to follow through and do something proactive in response, even if it is a very small step towards the sustaining of life, not letting fear or apathy impede them…
    Back to the weather, keep your eyes on the skies at least for a while…
    watch the trails and what happens next, I’ll just leave it at that…
    Anyway, we use and have a good supply of liquid D3 supplement and B6 for health benefits
    that can help offset what we are missing due to lack of clear sunshine…
    Prayers and hopes for clarity in the weather
    and in our thinking and planning for these days…
    God strengthen and bless you all…

  13. Good artiicle Ken ( as always )
    Just got back from a meeting with the other local groups. Food was the subject. Scarcity / cost was the concern. Also confiscation by the thugs in charge.
    The groups are storing goods in some very unlikely places. Most are going to be ok for a couple years if it doesn’t get taken by men in armored vehicles and tanks.
    The sheep only look at today. Nevhortageser tomorrow much less 6 months from now.
    I was sad to hear Art Bell passed away. He co-wrote a book with Whitley Streiber called
    “The coming Super Storms “.
    They based that movie”the day after tomorrow ” on their book. Interesting read.
    The book”end of food” is a must read IMO.
    The thought of food shortages /hyper inflated prices in 2018/2019 …
    Is that bad enough for folks to act?
    (I know I’m preaching to the choir here but still …)

    1. Bill Jenkins Horse;
      Agreed 1000% on the “end of food” it was suggested here on MSB by someone, sorry cant remember who.
      FYI, and maybe I should not say this, but I totally understood your word “Nevhortageser”, not so sure that’s a good thing… HAHAHA

      1. NRP
        Yea. I recommended it awhile back …
        I swear spell check goes skitzo sometimes.
        The volcano in Chile has woken up.
        I remember reading where Europeans one summer started getting sores on their heads and face.
        There was an uptick in respiratory sickness and death.
        It was caused by an eruption in Iceland or Greenland that was the cause.
        They didn’t know at the time.
        Scientists figured it out like 10 years ago from studying the soil or something …

        1. Bill Jenkins Horse;
          Thanks again for the recommendation on “end of food” interesting read, and eye opening for sure.

          Typo…. noooo, Spell Check….. noooo, I think you took a hard toke on the Cannibals Pipe and hit your head on the Keyboard HAHAHAHAHAHA

          Seriously though, I do not believe that the Human Animal really realizes how fragile this world really is, or how seemingly little it would take to become the next Dinosaurs….

  14. I was looking at wheat berries on line at Wallys and wonder if anybody can tell me why hard white wheat (26 lb) is $15.48 and red is $22.18. Why the price difference?

    1. aka;
      Sort of like the difference in Fuji Apples and Red Delicious Apples. Yes both are apples but of different flavor, hardness, texture, so-on.

    2. I thought that the big diff between the 2 was that red had more flavor? I have all white berries so maybe I’ll go with red.

      1. aka;
        Personally I only use and store Red Wheat Berries
        BUT I buy them directly from a Mill at $15 per 50 pounds.
        Not sure where you are, but look up a Mill around you and see if they sell direct.

          1. Antique Collector;
            I have no idea if they will. I know they do ship, but have no idea how much $.

            Look up Adobe Mills in Dove Creek CO.
            Really good people and GREAT beans.

            For wheat look up Cortez Milling in Cortez CO.

            If ypu tell em NRP sent you they will only charge you double LOLOL

    3. wrote this short explanation back in 2014:

      Wheat Storage: Hard, Red, White, Soft ?

      It doesn’t explain any price differences, but you still might be interested to look ;)

      We usually buy the Hard White nowadays. Stores just as well, and it tastes a bit less harsh (at least to me). Years ago it was all Hard Red. Still have buckets and buckets of it.

    4. aka,

      I find that WMT plays around with their pricing quite a bit. A year ago that 26 pound bucket of red was being sold in the $15 range, which is ridiculously cheap considering the very high quality bucket it comes in. When they drops their pants on price on something, it’s typically very strategic and short-lived. I like to comb through their offerings every month or so and pick through their loss-leader items. Gosh, my last order with them was around $100 – delivered to my door – arrived in five different boxes and weighed over 120 pounds. Madness.

    5. Supply and Demand I cannot tell you enough difference aside from Soft and Hard Wheat.

    6. AKA, the red has higher protein and gluten percent and is used for artisanal bread – perhaps supply and demand? In my area, the most expensive is the soft white wheat at about $9 per 50 lb bags higher.

    7. I pay 39. for 22lbs of organic red wheat berries. I heard white wheat was for pasta and cake and red was for bread?

      1. North@54 – I use all three for bread. Ken did an article a bit back about these recipes. The soft wheat will give you a softer loaf of bread, and I use it with Golden 86 hard white wheat half and half when I want rolls.

        I paid about $26 for 50 lbs Golden 86 hard white wheat on my last order. When I get it, I package half for long term storage and use the other half fresh. This will store for many, many years if put in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers and then in protective containers so the vermin cannot gnaw on it. Because of the work and expense to package, I am not currently rotating my stored wheat – just packing and stacking. The soft white wheat usually costs about $9 more per 50 lbs. The hard red white is just a couple dollars less than the a golden 86 hard white wheat. All are non GMO and the golden was organic. I purchase through A local Amish store that you have to know is there and they have to be OK selling to you- otherwise they don’t usually sell to the “English”.

        Whatever we decide to store will never be enough when things get bad because there will always be someone else you would like to bring into the fold that figured it out waaaay to late. You want to keep good people alive or the bad people take over.

  15. We lost 7 rows of potatoes in February due to 5 inches of rain in one day. They all rotted in the ground. After that, our plum crop was destroyed by an early bloom, then a frost. Thankfully blueberries and pears have survived so far. Cucumber bedding plants were lost to strong winds. Last night, 40 miles from the Gulf Coast, we had 38 degree weather. But we have found we have weather disasters each year.

    1. RoughRider;
      Here’s a temperature swing for you… 72deg today, tomorrow night…. 20Deg.
      Wonder if the fruit trees are going to make it? NOT!!!!!

      1. Growing a garden or orchard is a lot like playing poker. Sometimes you just don’t get a good hand. Hope your trees make it!

      2. NRP,
        Yap, we have had a freeze the last couple nights and my poor trees, all the pretty little flowers they had are brown and ugly, Another year with no fruit :(

        1. Ranchers Wife;
          Have you gotten any Rain on the other side of the hill from me?
          One little shower a couple of weeks ago and nada else.
          Next time you make it to DRO, take a look at the Animas….
          It’s completely dry in FMN…. NOT GOOD

          1. NRP,
            I was in your part of the country when that storm came through a nice little rain shower. We got a little rain from it but not as much as ya’all and what little moisture we got from it has been blown away by the darn wind.
            One of my friends posted some pictures of the river in FMN on FB not good at all.
            They are saying this is going to be a bad year for fires. We are under a fire ban as of today. I am on the ladies aux. for our dept and we are already getting plans made for bad fires. ( hope we don’t have any).
            Hubby is going to DRO this weekend for the meltdown I’ll have to have him see how it looks.

          2. Snowpack is only 45% (April 8th) in the St John Mts east of you. White water rafting may be a little rough this year? (I HATE doinkin over river boulders!) Fly fishing may be good. An irrigation water company (on the Pine drainage, I think?) said they only have 45 days of water stored so far this year.

            CD in Oklahoma

        2. Ranchers wife
          If you have a heads up for cold weather I use old sheets purchased through Good Will/2nd hand stores. Cover the trees with them. I use the fleece blanket material to cover the citrus trees when it is going to be cold & possible wet. It gives the trees a chance to hold some of the fruit.

          1. Antique Collector,
            Thanks for the idea, Funny we do that in the fall to prolong our garden don’t know why I haven’t done it in the spring. I do have a few trees that are small enough to do that with.

          2. Ranchers wife
            For the trees that are to tall you may be able to set up a piping system with PVC around the trees to protect them with a chain & pullie system to cover them.

            Neighbor used pvc to create hoop house design where he could keep the birds out of his peach tree, where by he could put netting over the top. Ground squirrels he used traps with peach pits until he eliminated the family of thieving varmints as he referred to them.

        3. NRP
          we had a frost here last weekend, with no wind. I broke into my Coleman Lantern collection and placed one lantern in each of 6 blooming fruit trees, right above where they branch off the trunk. I lit them up at 2 am, and checked on them through each night. Happy to report it was enough to raise the temperature in the area and save all the blossoms. Will have to do it one more time tonight as tomorrow morning early (4/18) it is supposed to go to 24F. Only cost me $8 for fuel for the two nights. Should have fruit for canning though. I would think that even small charcoal fires in some big clay flower pots under the trees would stave off the frost. Pull an “All-nighter” and save your fruit.

          1. Miner and all yall
            Might be worth getting some smudge pots JIC if this becomes the norm,,,
            Quite effective for small home orchards and gardens, friend in Wa state uses them on his place pretty regular

          2. That’s a good idea. Need to find some flower pots. They can have other stuff in them during the summer, and then use for smudge in the spring. Doesn’t look like these weather patterns are going away any time soon!

          3. Nailbanger, Lauren,

            Yeah, smudge pots would work for the heat. The idea behind a bunch of smudge pots is to put out smoke to form an ‘inversion layer’ of smoke in the thermal layer of air above the orchard. TPTB do not like the air pollution. Small scale though, they are good to raise the temps justa few degrees to protect the blossoms. Have also thought about putting coal in old sections of rain gutters on the ground, light the ends, and maybe the middle, let them burn slowly towards each other. Should be able to get a long burn and heat out of that setup.

          4. I have both coal and unused raingutters. Could make it a permanent setup, design the gardens to hide the raingutters during the summer.

          5. Minerjim,
            That’s a great idea for some of my larger trees that I can’t cover.

          6. Maybe charcoal and peet? I know the peet will smolder for days, maybe metal gut bucket with charcoal and peet? Peets way cheaper than deisel,,,,

          7. Lauren I am not big on coal even more smell signature than charcoal and you can put out charcoal with water (and even reuse it when it dries) but not so much coal.

            When SHTF I do not an uncontrollable signal fire to bring visitors.

            Also be aware of mosquitos having gutter sitting around all summer. Just a thought.

          8. NH Michael, in SHTF the rules change–we’ll need the coal for heating the house. Right now I can make changes like this and consider messing around until I figure out what works. In an SHTF situation, no way. One reason that I’m growing my trees from seed is to get varieties that bloom later and survive the conditions in our area.

            As for the water–No chance of having standing water in one of these for more than a day or two in the summer.

      3. ours in the greenhouse in licktubs are doing beautiful. 1/2 have fruit- peaches, blueberries, and plums, the other 1/2 are blooming- apples, pears, and cherries. That is why I didn’t stay in Albuq with old man because I have to lower the panels and light the propane heater for the 26 deg them tonight, and it was so good to rest!

      4. NRP – Talking about temperature swings, we had a 20-something low and a 100 record high in the span of a few days last week. Today it’s already 97 and could go to 100. Although our lows seem to be following the highs now in an expected manner (25-35 degrees dif day/night), I got to thinking about the electric grid and the System Operators that have to shift power where it’s needed. Under normal conditions, there’s a nation-wide power shift to the north during winter (for heaters) that shifts back to the south in summer (for AC). But it seems like this month we’re getting low extremes north and high extremes south on the same days. I wonder how that’s affecting the power grid?

        CD in Oklahoma

  16. Hope the “Left” doesn’t read this article. They might have Al Gore claiming Trump stole a time machine and went back to start his “Global Warming” agenda to rid the world of Starbucks and have Michael Moore make a movie about it.

  17. My wife and I just came back in from planting 3 20-gal tubs of Okra (seeds). We’ll plant one more Okra when we work some more tubs. It’s 84* at 3pm, the wind has died down to 20mph, helping our area fire fighters I hope. I read that 28 fire fighters were flown in from Florida to help with the big one up in NW Oklahoma. Help has come from all over the place. That fire has claimed another life (woman in a car), but her death is suspicious.

    We had another new fire 45 miles NW of us yesterday that evacuated the entire town of Martha Oklahoma (150 residents) and burned 15 structures including homes that had been there for 50 years. No injuries reported. The fire started in a cotton module on the cotton gin yard. A bad bearing in some cotton harvesting equipment can put a hot sliver of steel inside of a tightly packed module, and it can set there burning but not showing much flame or smoke for days until it burns close enough to the outside and the wind gets high enough to flare it up. I’m not sure that’s what happened this time, but it is common.

    A module is a tightly packed bundle of cotton straight out of the field complete with stem pieces, debris, and weeds that will be ginned eventually to separate the good from the bad. The region had a bumper crop this season, so there are 100s of modules setting around waiting to be ginned. Gins used to be located in the middle of towns back in the old days (workers could walk to work), but most of them that are newer replacements have been built outside of and away from towns a distance. Ours is a few miles SW of town now. Martha’s is in the NW corner of town, and the wind was out of the NW.

    We have mostly hard red winter wheat around here. I haven’t heard how it wintered, but a large part of it is dry land wheat, and we’re already in an extreme drought.

    CD in Oklahoma

  18. Nothing wrong with reservoirs off of the rivers for storing excess run off and we get a lot of that. The problem on the coast is the reservoirs behind the dams slow and occasionally stop the flow down the river. When the flow gets to low water is released but it has warmed from being stored inland away from the cooler coast. Most of the year round flow on these rivers is from snowpack of which we have plenty of this year. With water warming behind the damns we get algae blooms and they produce some very unpleasant toxins. Another problem is a disease called ich for short, it’s prevalent in warm water and infects the gills of fish causing them to suffocate.

    The big issue on these damns is not the electricity as they don’t generate huge amounts and it is certainly cleaner than the cleanest “clean coal” but farmer versus fisherman. I’m not a fisherman except for sport but I live in a fishing town where livelihoods are closely tied to the catch. A poor year can decimate the industry. Captains can’t make boat payments, crews default on car payments and mortgages, etc. Low enough flow can kill an entire school and when a school of salmon is gone it can not be brought back. Take fish from a different river and they swim back to their home river so transplanting them just doesn’t work very well.

    Those inland want the water to irrigate the crops, Those on the coast want the water to keep the salmon populations healthy. The size of the schools has decreased dramatically over the years. More water flowing will help. Those dams are small and aging and from what I understand don’t produce a whole lot of electricity as it is.

    It does look like the Klamath will have a decent run this year. Indian tribes here have fished the Klamath for thousands of years. That fishery still contributes to a major part of that tribes income. One of my friends last year had his allocation reduced to 15 fish from the fall run. Kind of hard to support your family on that.

    1. me
      So the plan is to let the farms turn into dust bowls, no more crops, and migration of farmers again. It sounds like another “save the smelt” scam. Am I crazy too – sacrifice farms for stream fishing? Importing food also make no sense to me.

      1. This is surface runoff water, not deep aquifer water that could be depleted in the future. Why not use it for survival of people rather than dump it in the ocean?

        1. Hermit, exactly. Store the EXCESS run off in reservoirs but let the rivers run. We watch untold amounts flow into the rivers which could be harvested and diverted via canals and pipelines to wherever it is needed. Think of how much flood water runs into the gulf of Mexico every time the Mississippi floods. One years worth would probably supply every farm for the next 10 years if we only used it sensibly. As I recall about 90% of our irrigation water is lost to evaporation unless we use drip irrigation.

          I’m not talking about saving smelt here although those are also a commercial catch. I’m talking salmon, easily as important as potatoes, corn, beef, pork, chicken, rice, etc. As far as meat goes it’s certainly healthier than the majority of the meats we eat. It is a huge industry and is at grave risk because of poor water management practices. We need reservoirs and we need fisheries, We shouldn’t loose farms or fisheries because of poor management.

          It’s not a stream fishery. They do a 3 year cycle of returning to the stream where they were born and spent their first year in it before returning to the sea where many of them are caught commercially.

          Two years later they’re back to that same stream where they will try to reproduce if conditions allow it. The recent drought in California affected one of the schools badly that the count showed bout 600 juveniles returning to the sea. It should have been in the hundreds of thousands. Considering predation while at sea it is unlikely that enuogh of them will return to continue that school. for all praactical purposes, it is lost.

          Of course farms are important. No we shouldn’t have dust-bowls.But a lot of those farmers that are screaming to keep the dams are not growing essential crops. Should we lose a significant part of an important industry so Farmer John can double his yield of almonds, or walnuts, or pistachios?

          There are only so many schools of salmon out there, we’ve already lost some of them. If a farmer can’t get enough water to irrigate all of the fields he can probably get enough to irrigate some of them. He won’t lose the entire shebang.

          A prime example is the Colorado river, it used to be used to irrigate fields all the way in to Mexico before it emptied into the Sea of Cortez. Now it’s a ditch that ends 50 miles from the Sea.

        2. me
          You are talking about a fishery from a heavily polluted ocean. You are talking about a resource that is being decimated by trawlers and bottom drag nets that take every living thing from the ocean.
          So, when the next drought hits and threatens the very existence of our food chain, we have to loose this countrie’s food resource to support a fishery that is being poached to extinction.
          My choice is this country first and if that means no water for Mexico or the viability of the salmon runs in this country, so be it. Salmon rivers exist all the way to Alaska and I have seen rivers so full that you could almost walk across on them.
          Sometimes there are no more choices and compromise no longer works.

      2. Hermit Us,
        Some wizard at the United Nations made an interesting statement a while back that food could be used as a control mechanism.Now there is some food for thought.

      3. Hermit,
        Makes no sense to you?
        Thats cause your not some idiot libtard struggling to find two brain cells to rub together to make a brain

  19. GRAND SOLAR MINUMUM people is a REAL possibility !!!! MINI ICE AGE !!!! History !!!! Check it out could last for DECADES !!!! Look at the maps of probability and how the North in the US could be like Siberia and where I live in Tennessee could be like North Dakota/Canada maybe Alaska.
    Lots of info on line for you to see………………………………………

    1. Mrs.USMCBG – Thanks, I’ve heard the same thing. Don’t tell Al Gore, it would break his heart. He’s still forecasting Global Warming the last I heard. After the 100 days in a row of 100 degrees or more here back in 2011 when that drought started, I might could stand a little cooling since it looks like we’re headed into another round of drought. Me and both dogs have become proficient at hugging a heater for hours at a time during the winter, so we could probably do it during the summer too.

      CD in Oklahoma

  20. Hello everyone. Just a few things to note from here. I agree with everyone about the difficulties of extreme weather. We are expanding our orchard and I am adding different varieties that bud at different times (many later than average), hoping to finally get some fruit! We have lost it most years due to late frosts. I also agree that it would be prudent to up our food stores, to at least 2-3 years. (and TP!). And if family shows up during hard times, there will be more to share. And I mean to keep it simple. I am dehydrating a lot this year (especially fruiits and veggies) as they store in smaller spaces, and keep very well. Already ordered 80 lbs more wheat due to stories about more drought in the west and farmers deciding not to plant. Getting it while it is available (and I prefer soft white wheat. Makes the best pancakes). Stocked up our ‘personal’ items to a years worth for each of us, with the ability to make more with supplies like baking soda, coconut oil, etc. Think toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Will be in increasing the woodpile quickly also!

    I read a fantastic, and I mean fantastic book. First time I read a book like this and immediately ordered copies for all of our children. It is “Cold Times: How to Prepare for the Mini Ice Age,” by Dr Anita Bailey, PhD. Wow. Thats all I can say. The last part of the book is about how to prep and prepare and it is good sound advice. Great for newbie folks out there. And since our sun is going into it’s “minimum” phase, I do wonder if she is accurate about what is to come. Plus, she shows how much of Europe saved their orchards and gardens (in the 1800’s) by building stone walls and espaliered their trees to catch the heat. She includes great pictures. Anyway, i was going to get started building my two in-ground cold frames- the kind with old windows – that I didn’t get done last fall (regretfully), but now I want ten since this spring has been so cold. I too, am also beginning to lose plants from the greenhouse because I can’t get them in the ground yet. The tomatoes and peppers will keep, but the spring crops aren’t happy. Well, I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and productive year! I love this blog. Keeps me going. God bless….

    1. I have Cold Times also which really got us to thinking. If we do have a mini ice age won’t have to worry about world politics as they will be doing all they can to keep ORDER……..

  21. I don’t store much wheat here. I have a little dab that I got straight out of the combine one year (I was the truck driver for 8 years) to try out an antique Atlas hand crank grain mill that I’d bought. I think that the grinding surfaces may be shot on it. All I did was broadcast chunks of wheat all over the place (lucky that I was out on the patio). It actually did grind the wheat (that I caught) fairly good after a few runs through the grinder. I guess I could put a tarp over me while I grind, or do it in a pup tent to save more if I needed.

    There used to be 1000s of bushels of seed wheat stored in bins in the immediate area, if I can talk someone out of some. Last I heard, big AG was trying to make it against the rules for famers to store their own seed wheat, like they did with cotton seed for planting. Some guys put insecticide and/or rodenticide in their seed wheat for storage, so I’m not sure if that stuff can be removed easily or safely. It wasn’t a problem for seed that was going to be planted. I need to look into that.

    CD in Oklahoma

    1. CD<

      Just out of curiosity, are you north or south of Clinton? Reason being I know of a very large amount of wheat that is still in silos near Elk City waiting for authority to ship. You looking for seed crop or berries? This might be the same stuff you are talking about. I contracted to dump over 5,000 bushels last year. Total waste of good crops.

  22. It’s actually snowing really hard right now where I live, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it snow this much in mid-April before.

    1. Youngster
      Welcome back!
      Haha
      Yeah I plowed snow today. Snow ice and sleet. Expecting more snow thru tonight.
      And it’s mid.April.

  23. Nashville area broke the previous record of 46 degrees in 1905 with 44 degrees today and snow flurries. Still the last measurable snow fall in the area was April 25th 1910.

  24. Mrs USMCBG, cold all day here too.low tonight supposed to be what 11 am temp was.. This Yo yo is killing me! did not see earlier message. YES!

  25. Funny you should talk about this. When our father passed in 2010 my little brother said we were in the beginning stages of an ice age. Not sure he was joking but with the weather we’ve been having, he might be right. Am getting really concerned we won’t be able to get any kind of garden in this year. It’s still snowing around here with freezing rain. DH is itching to get the boxes planted and be done with this crappy weather.
    Stay safe everyone.

    1. I have been telling people that we are at the end of the warming period and heading for an ice age. Everyone laughed at me as that was when Old Al was going strong. Wish I were wrong we could use global warming with the heat and moisture it would bring.

  26. In 2009 we suffered a very bad drought. It was a scenario that we learned from and proactively planned a strategy with.

    We have always gardened and were growing/preserving most of our own foods, but after the 2009 drought, we doubled our garden size the following year. We began canning more foods for a 2-year supply, just in case. We had been canning for a year’s supply, but after that year, we realized that we needed to double-up in case we had total garden failure one year.

    2009 was also the year that we bought a 1,000 gallon water tank and added it to our water-collection system (rainfall off the roof). That water tank has been dual-purpose: garden water for any condition and our last-choice for potable water (a back-up system) during grid-down.

    We have always dealt with wind and hail in the summer (very destructive to corn), late frosts in May, early frosts in September — but that drought was a doozy for us!

  27. The LDS have it right. Long ago they said store food for a year in case of any eventuality. And after that store more for neighbors and family who will need it.

  28. The idea of a colder summer is scary. We just had a cold winter- the snow came in october and is just starting to melt the ice in the lake is 4-5 feet thick.We mostly produce crops like canola and wheat which can withstand some frost and dabble with short season corn and soybeans but we only have 90-100 frost free days zone 2. Cattle can only be on grass 4-5 months. I am a bit optimistic a warming world would improve our situation as long as we get enough rain some predictions had us warming up to a Kansas climate. But a bit colder and we cant grow much here.

    1. Can you do any type of attached greenhouse or grow room.. ? I have very dark house and my plants are doing better with us adding some grow lights… short season things like radish and lettuce can be planted in inside flower pots/boxes. getting wheat berries and sprouting will get you some greens.. Having room for small inside aquaponics could be your answer… think large aquarium,with pump to run aquarium water thru the planting medium/rock wool plants are growing… works really good for greens/kale/broccoli etc. do you tube search.. we are in zone 7 and trouble trying to get things in ground as well. looking at protected grow space, outside. w/ heat storage.

      1. We have 2 400w mh grow lights and start lots of plants inside. We can plant frost tolerant stuff outside around May 1 and transplants around June1. Those brassicas like cool. I think our superlong daylength in summer helps too.

  29. I have seen it snow here in April, one year it snowed an we were unable to attend a wedding due to road closures-1970’s. Then hail where the ground looked like it had snowed but that has been over 20 years, last night we were hit with a freak hail storm. The areas higher up received the hail, my nieces home which is only 3 miles away as a bird flies, down in a canyon like setting..rain but no hail. Bitter cold this morning so there went what fruit we may of had this year on the trees. No warning from the worthless weather reporters.

    1. Antique Collector you must be younger than I. My knees tell me before the Weather Channel if a cold snap or storm is coming. Thus I hobble around with my ugly blankets to shelter my gardens.

      For those who may not know making charcoal is pretty easy if you get a metal 5 gallon bucket from the paint store, poke a hole in the lid. Fill with fist sized chunks of wood and put lid on. Set Bucket into a fire and watch the flammable gasses escape from the hole in the lid (nice flare!) until it stops. Let cool and get your charcoal out for those fruit tree warmers. There are better ways to do it but this works pretty well.

      If you get frisky you can look up how to make a wood/charcoal stove from a 5 gallon metal bucket and a few parts from You Tube. Not pretty but cheap enough. Also how to make a Stove top oven/pizza baker. Maybe after SHTF you can trade some heater/cook stoves to allies?

      Hope this helps someone :-)

      1. NH Michael
        It use to bother me when the weather changed but since I started on Acetyl-L-Carntrine(sp) every day my arthritis does not bother me any longer. Just Sayin recommended it so started dh & I on it about month ago.

  30. To Ken and others using wheat:

    On the far western edge of the Central Valley in California is in the rain shadow of the Coast Range. Ave rainfall is in the single digits. The crops grown there were: cotton, onions and red winter wheat. A majority of the red winter wheat was purchased by commercial food processors that turned it into pasta.

    It was not until I moved to the wet Willamette valley in Oregon where I saw fields of white wheat which appears to require a lot more water to grow as compared to red wheat.

    As an asian guy, I grew up eating a lot of rice. When I left home, I developed a taste for pasta, tacos made from masa corn flour tortillas, potatoes in many shapes and forms.

    I have not eaten much of other grains like millet or quinoa. When I left home, I tried to be open minded about trying and learning to cook different foods in order to diversify my diet. Studying and observing where my food came from led to my study and majoring in economics in college.

    This has come in handy when traveling to different areas. ( when in Rome…do as the Romans.) Being willing to eat and try different foods would be a good lesson to teach your children and or grand children ( to: Bill Jenkin’s Horse.) and I see this practice as being similar to diversifying your investment portfolio in survival practices.

    The ultimate survival strategy would be that of the cockroach or the goat: those creatures have a reputation for eating garbage and thriving. If the modern survivalist were to have a spirit animal, I believe it would be the rat.

    In the spirit of this blog on food storage for hard times, that animal would be the pack rat.

  31. Our weather here in southwest NY has been unusual also. We are past mid-April but our weather is acting like March. I would normally have moved the hogs and goats onto pasture by now, but cannot do it just yet. Hopefully this weekend as we are expecting a warm up in the next day. We have been very wet with cold and snow.

    Gardens are well behind also. And though I delayed setting my seeds inside because of the snow and cold so won’t have the problem with them getting root bound, I am not sure if I will have sufficient time on the other end of the growing season for many veggies. So I will probably be planting with cold weather crops in mind more than usual.

    1. I was looking at weather ‘stuff’ and saw a graphic showing the storm track from Canada to Puerto Rico and they were saying that there is 2 more coming in after that. With all this wacky weather playing havoc with crops etc and the crop problems from last year it is a little concerning. Yep, stepping up preps as best I can.

  32. As a person living in close proximity to the ocean I’m well aware and scared of what we are doing to it, However, the salmon catch is strictly regulated as to amount that can be taken, and means of taking it.

    They still have lots of salmon in those Alaskan rivers but that too may be changing because of plans for hydroelectric power to be put in place.

    Our rivers also used to have fish so thick you could walk across the river on them. Dams stopped that, not pollution and catch technique.

    I proposed that we construct reservoirs to catch excess runoff. At times the flow is so high that billions of gallons are going into the ocean. The problem with the dams is they only collect a very small amount of what is running into the ocean.

    Reservoirs do not have to be behind dams. They can be dug as lakes and canals. Excess water can be pumped into the depleted aquifers. The ones that are behind dams just happen to be convenient for tapping for irrigation.

    A hell of a lot of this water is going to irrigate fufu foods. How many of us will die for lack of lettuce?
    A tremendous amount of our water is used to grow almonds. When was the last time you read about somebody dying for lack of almonds? Granted it is an industry that is important to those producing them but the rest of us could get along just fine with out them.

    So if Farmer Brown has to scale back his production of nuts so that we can save our schools of salmon so be it. In a grid down situation those salmon could save my community form starvation.

    And as I proposed, build more reservoirs next to the rivers, It is not necessary to dam them to get reservoirs. That way the snowflakes can still have their almond milk smoothies. Personally, I’ve never tasted the stuff.

    1. I don’t want to be obtuse or contrary, but the same amount of water will flow once the dams are filled so the river will still flow. The exception is when there is a severe drought that would cause the river to dry up, except if there are dams that can release water for a constant flow year round. The other reason for good water management is for flood control – if the dams are lowered in anticipation of flooding, say a high snow pack year, then the extra volume can be contained and not wash out homes, businesses, fish habitat, … Proper engineering for dams would incorporate fish ladders and added spawning grounds. We have to be smart with this resource or start begging Canada for fresh water. Hmmm could be an excuse for another war.

      1. I think the point was that the salmon can’t get past the dams to finish their runs, which means they don’t breed and the numbers are way down.

        1. Lauren
          Fish ladders do work just like gentle falls or rapids on a natural river – without the dangers of high waterfalls.

  33. to me:

    Your argument has addressed the politics of water in the Great State of California. I first went to work for the Forest Service Civil Engineering Dept on the Central Coast and found out their primary purpose was to maintain the quality and quantity of water in the aquifer.

    Several of my relatives were farmers at the time so I was involved whether I liked it or not. Over the years, my job as a civil servant in that state I have been a witness to who gets water and why. Big ag can pay large amounts to lobbyists.

    The needs of wildlife and recreation are among the last to have a say or to receive their allotment in times of shortage.

    1. CR
      That is why I argue for a controlled flow with fish habitat built into the system. I don’t think it is necessarily one or the other.

    2. CR
      Yes, thinking about it – I am nuts for suggesting proper water and fish management on the west coast – When they want to spend all that money on a train (for years of graft and corruption) and paint their streets white – I should be locked up.
      How many departments now regulate fish stocks in and offshore the west coast????
      I’m going to buy a gopher hole next to NRP and drink mink juleps all day.

      1. You might be a resident of my county if you think the average rain storm lasts one month. We typically get a tremendous amount of rain during the fall,winter and early spring. The vast majority of this runs into the ocean, This is the water I want to capture and use for irrigation. The problem we’re having is when the water behind the dams heats up and the flow past the dams is slowed to keep sufficient water for irrigation behind the dams. The stream level falls and that water too warms up. Algae blooms. bad pathogens thrive. Oxygen level in the water drops and fish die. Lots of fish die.

        Some crops are certainly more important than other. The drought that had such a bad effect on the Salmon in the Sacramento river was using water to irrigate rice, certainly a vital food. Fish ladders don’t help if the water quality is so poor that the fish are dying before they get to the ladders.
        I can’t help but think that it might be a good idea to reactivate the CCC and put them to work digging storage ponds and diversion canals. Stocking them with a warm water fish could also contribute t the food supply.

        1. me
          Are you saying that storage ponds, man made or natural, do not algae blooms. Lakes have them and oceans have them.
          So that month of rain you mentioned, should just drain to the ocean and to hell with the other eleven months of no irrigation water?
          If you have a problem with the types of crops that farmers are using the water on then, go after them if you feel there is a more environmental friendly advantage to some other type of crop.

  34. I remember the 1991 Mt Pinatbo eruption. Dropped temps for up to two years by about 1F according to USGS. Per NASA however the reflective nature of the particles forced a wetter and probably warmer winter in North America. Kuwait’s oil field fires same summer did not send particles as high as the volcano and only disrupted weather relatively locally.
    Being near the coast with its ring of volcanoes and annual clouds of forest fire smoke makes me wonder what simple geology might have in store.

    It’s been on my mind for several weeks now, and I think it may have been Skeezix who mentioned it lately – but have a strong sense we are in the fat years now and definitely need to take advantage. Anyone else?

    1. I,m wondering if our “fat years” are getting to be almost gone… trying to ramp up all we can with what we have /where we are. You are not alone, many here have been speaking along those lines for months.

  35. I could easily see this happening again in our near future. With all the volcanic activity it is very possible.

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