Mendocino never gets rain in July. Until now. I’ve been ready to harvest for weeks, but the person who was going to harvest delayed. On the day after our originally slated harvest date, it rained. I hoped the fog and sprinkle wouldn’t permeate the heads to the grain seeds. I rolled heads between my hands and when a few days ago they’d burst out now no berries popped out. The grains were soft, moist with each bite. Will the crop make it? I don’t know.
Deer ate my grains, rains may be rotting them. These are challenges of farming with nature. We tried farming at odds with nature, thinking that the world is ours to control. Because we have, we’ve done much damage to the earth and each other. I’d rather feed the deer than poison or shoot them for entering the farm. They are important partners in managing the ecosystem. The rains may be inopportune for me, but it helps our region by alleviating the drought by just that little bit. If the grains rot, then at least I planted a crop that sequesters significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, returning it to the soil so that there’s less to warm our planet.
Still, let’s hope for sunshine.