California’s Central Valley produces more than half of America’s produce. But the summer of 2015 marked the fourth year of what has become a monumental drought. Small family farmers like Jesus Ramos are in trouble. And when the farmers are in trouble, the country is in trouble.
“No one is going to want to spend $5 on an orange,” Jesus’ daughter says. Faced with stifling water restrictions, caused in part by environmental concerns over sea life, farmers like Jesus have few options.
Compounding the problem is the reality that without water, their trees will destroy the soil. So farmers uproot their trees and wait. But re-growing citrus trees takes years. Or they can gamble, hoping that this season will be the last one without water.
California’s Central Valley is in crisis and if it doesn't rain soon the rest of the country will be soon feeling the effects, too.Published:
February 29, 2016