|Photo from LA Times|
They are very careful with the amount of water they use - Shu has always felt that over-watering is very bad for the health of the plants and his conservation of water is one of the cornerstones of his basic farming method. Still, their water use for 70 acres of farmland is 30,000 cubic feet per month on average. Normally, this time of year they can rely on rain to supply all of their irrigation needs. This year, their water bill is over $1,000 a month. More important, the plants prefer rainfall and grow better and soil needs rainfall to wash away the saline buildup of groundwater use, especially this time of year.
Wild life and plant life is affected all around them, and this also impacts their farm and the way that they feel. It seems like the drought is a symptom of an environmental imbalance, and since their farming practice is based on harmony with nature, this feeling of imbalance affects their ability to maintain equilibrium.
Currently they have stopped growing vegetables that require large amounts of water, for example celery. If there is not enough water to farm with they will be forced to stop farming – while big agricultural continues. That would be a heartbreaking loss for all of us.