We are farming just beyond
your city’s limits to sustain growth
by building houses, irrigating fields

to feed you. We are drilling deeper
wells all around your sufficient
neighborhood mapped on asphalt.

Either side of the fuzzy border,
we get old, get tired of adapting
to mistakes—unlike bugs, we live

too long to develop genetics
our children’s children will need
in an unimaginable future.

History will say our families farmed
the San Joaquin for 200 years
before running out of water

fifty years from now—our thin dust
upon dry layers of earth stacked above
a depleting Pleistocene sea.


7 responses to “NEW FRONTIERS

  1. Wonderfully stated, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rich & Shelby Hewitt

    Right on, John. Rich

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So well put. All encompassing. Will the art of ranching and farming be lost?
    Save a small fish or save the people. One choice that has been there for years. At least William Shatner is trying to start a pipeline from Washington. Something I have suggested for 3 years only from the East) To little to late I fear. They wont even fix the 80+ year old water pipes in the cities that break daily but will fine for water on your sidewalk.
    My son works on a farm in OC that after 3 generations may not exist next year.
    I saw on TV, a hope for El Nino this fall. Anything short of that and I fear your going to be correct.
    Will the oil tankers carry water someday?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just this morning I talked to a man who is pushing 90 and is headed to Fresno in the morning to visit his 92 year old brother, he said,”it’s a little dry down there again, but It’s exciting to see how they are using the new irrigation technology. Gone are the days of chasing water with a shovel, handlines and even most of the overheads and wheellines.” I’ve never been there to judge, although, he seemed to think farming was adapting and was setting itself up for a long run into the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Drip irrigation has probably cut agriculture’s consumption of water by a third to a half, depending on the crop, but the availability of surface water is about 5% of normal this year. Million-dollar wells, half-mile deep on the West Side have kept drillers busy 24 hours/day since last year, and family farmers locally have had to wait months to drill new and deeper wells. Cones of depression in the water tables beneath every city in the Valley have been spreading and going deeper for years. We’re running out of water and the ability to recharge our aquifers. I see no long run for Ag as we have known it in California, just a blip on the screen time. Both cities and agriculture have been consuming more and more of a vital and diminishing resource. This summer will make last summer seem tame.


  5. Beautifully and painfully stated, John.

    Liked by 1 person

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