[NAFEX] California's screwed tree crops

Mark Angermayer hangermayer at isp.com
Fri Jul 24 12:13:00 EDT 2009

I've no opinon on global warming, but do have an opinon on predictions.
They tend to be extremely fallable, even by learned folks.  I thought an
article in the last Pomona illustrated this remarkably.  The article was
written by an educated man, Dan Henenway, who used to participate on this
forum.  The original article was written in 1983, and was reprinted by
permission in the last Pomona.  The article is a call to action for urban
communities to grow their own food.  Agricultural errors aside, the article
makes two predictions illustrating man's non-niscience.

First, the article states that although California provides nearly two
thirds of our vegetables today (1983) by the year 2000, California "will be
barely self-sufficient in food for its own people."   This did not come to
pass.  California' is still the number one state exporter of most fruits,
and virtually all vegetables.  California has also become the number one
producer of milk, surpassing Wisconsin.

The article further states, "And bear in mind that the U.S. Department of
Agriculture predicts that by 2000 a loaf of bread will cost you well over
$7.00."  Here we are a decade later, and a loaf of bread in these parts
costs about 2 bucks.

I've come to take these type of predictions with a grain of salt.

If there's a food shortage in the U.S, I doubt it will be caused by drought,
climate change, or pests.  War, economic collapse, and corrupt governments
are generally the cause in the modern era.


P.S. Although I disagree with much of what Mr. Hemenway wrote, I agree its a
good idea for folks to be more self-sufficient when it come to growing food.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ginda Fisher
To: North American Fruit Explorers ; nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] California's screwed tree crops

Sure, I don't want to fight about global warming today.  I do want to
elaborate a little on the prior post, from Richard Harrison, asserting an
increase in hill hours in some warmer states.

That's not inconsistent with global warming.  My understanding is that chill
hours are not hours when it's really cold, but are only hours when it's
sorta chilly (near or above freezing, up to 40 or 50F), when the trees are
metabolically active but 'feel cold'.   I gather that in very cold places
the native  trees don't need a lot of chill hours, since they have to come
out of dormancy quickly and do their thing.  It's places with long bumpy
springs and late frosts where the local trees have adapted by needing a lot
of chill hours.

So if global warming is linked in some areas with a longer spring, you could
easily get both higher average temps and more or similar chill hours.

Also, the US is a large country with lots of climate zones, some quite
chilly.  Surely agricultural plantings can move north if we get even quite a
lot of global warming.  Concurrant disruption of rainfall patterns is a more
serious agricultural threat, but I'm sure the US will continue to be able to
grow food _somewhere_, however cliate change plays out.

-- Ginda

Alan Haigh wrote:

Please members, can we refrain from another fruitless debate on global

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