Some Scary News for Halloween

On the one hand, I suppose you could think of this as advance planning.

On the other, it’s just more evidence of the ways in which the world where we all garden is dramatically changing (which I’m sure isn’t news to many people by now!)

The USDA–the folks that I normally associate with milk pasteurization and things like that–have come out with a new web site and a series of “Climate Hubs” to help all those who farm or deal in any way with agriculture cope with the changing effects of the climate.

Remember, depending on where folks live, these effects are dramatically different. For all my whining about drought this summer, I really know very little about drought in the long term sense, at least compared to folks in the southwest, or California. And thankfully I know very little about wildfires, except from places I’ve visited.

Of course, the California folks, most of them, know very little about tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards. So we all have our weather issues. Hence the climate hubs.

Why am I even telling backyard gardeners about this? Because there are some relevant links, even for “regular” folks that don’t have ranches.

In the Northeast hub, for example, there’s a combined section with the Midwest hub on managing small woods. Lots of folks I know do that. Even we have a small wooded portion of our property, although I’m not sure it qualifies as a small woodlot. Still the information there is interesting.

In the Southwest Hub, which covers California, of course, there is an entire page called “Climate Tools.” This is a page of links to other resources. There are also fabulous shots of crops being grown in Hawaii that just make me so envious!

The Northern Plains hub talks about a Yale study that was recently put out (October 2014) and another study that found that the 1934 drought was the worst of the last thousand years (talk about giving one some perspective!)

In any event, it’s easy to see how these tools will be valuable to the various regions–as well as some very interesting–and sobering–reading.

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