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Ch-Ch-Changes (Did you ever know that you were my hero?)

What’s wrong with this picture? My windows are wide open. The cool breeze brings with it the songs of the frogs as the constant, 4-day rain has created the perfect setting for frog romance. I’ve got a few lights on inside to combat the gray dreariness of the day.

It’s June 7 in South Florida and it’s not supposed to be cool enough for open windows. We’re also the sunshine state, so 4 days of grey skies is not how we roll. Hot, humid, sunny with afternoon thunderstorms. That’s how we roll. My home is so full of windows that sometimes I have to wear sunglasses inside.

It’s not supposed to be dark.

I’ve been here over 30 years. There have been other times of dreary rain and cloudy skies. It wasn’t like this, though.

This is different. We’re clearly experiencing fundamental changes in our weather patterns that will impact when we plant, what we plant and how we plant. Change in weather means that different pests and soil conditions may be present. We’re going to have learn as we go.

Adaptation is fundamental to growth.  Whether we like it or not, changes big and small are coming.  They’ll be coming faster as each small change creates cumulative and ripple effects that we have no way of anticipating.

Everything from soil bacteria to how our trees grow and what insects are here can be impacted. Monocropping is, of course, subject to the biggest risks. It is the small farmers that will lead us towards solutions.

In every challenge is an opportunity. This is our opportunity to recreate the biodiversity that has been lost over the past century. We can let the system help us find our way back to balance.

“In the last 100 years as many as 1,00,000 varieties of rice have simply vanished from the fields. Today there are fewer than a dozen varieties planted in 70 per cent of the land under rice.”

Please don’t think that someone is coming to save us.  We are the ones who will make the changes and make the difference. In every choice we make we are supporting one path or the other.

I believe that the small organic farmers, urban farmers, permaculturists and backyard gardeners are the quiet heroes that will save our food system, and possibly our planet. They have their hands in the soil and their hearts in the land and they will geek out with you over plant adaptations, pushing the edges of growing seasons or finding prolific, nutritious plant varieties to share. They are relearning techniques and creating new ones that will be substantial building blocks in a vibrant, healthy food system that serves both people and planet.

As we move forward into the good old days, technology gives us the ability to share information and collate data so that we create an upward spiral of understanding how our food system can be made to nurture humans as well as the planet. We can reverse some of our most damaging individual practices like grass-only lawns and diets high in processed foods.

We created to allow us to work together to share and store information that will help us all move forward into the new good old days. How are you handling the weather changes in your garden? Post on localpedia and let others learn from you.  Together, we are unstoppable.

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