As you may remember, dear Reader, I have been bemoaning the unusual cool temperatures we’ve been having here in the San Joaquin Valley. There are consequences for the strange weather, some good, but some bad.
This is the number one agriculture spot in the nation; our whole economy depends on our water, soil, and warm temperatures. This year we’ve had the water, and the soil hasn’t blown away, but the cool air is keeping the fruit from ripening and thwarting the growth of so many crops. The cotton is just standing out in its fields, shivering. You’ve heard about corn growing so fast, overnight, that you can hear it. The cornfields on the west side of the valley are silent. The ground is too wet to dig potatoes and onions. Basil and peppers are not growing. The grapes will have a hard time getting their sugar levels high enough for raisins.
I received my first box of CSA stone fruit yesterday–peaches, nectarines, and plums–that should be soft to the touch. Instead, rock hard. The big storm we had Sunday night has caused major damage to stone fruit and there is fear some of the crop will be completely lost. The winds and rain caused skin damage and mold and mildew is setting in. That is the bad news.
The good news, on the other hand, is that for the first time in history, the Zody household electric usage did not go over the baseline amount. By now, PG&E has changed the rates to reflect the usual hot weather we have, thus calling for the use of air conditioning. No air conditioning needed. However, our gas usage was double the baseline for this time of the year because the heater should have gone off and stayed off. Didn’t happen until this morning. So, we had a fairly low power bill.