Rain is the best natural resource left in Iowa, helping us grow crops without irrigation because of its abundance.
If other parts of North America can more deserving be called America’s breadbasket — Central Valley, Imperial Valley and Salinas Valley in California particularly — Iowa is due for resurgence because of abundant precipitation combined with California droughts.
Water shortages in California have reached crisis level and despite government actions may not be resolved. If Iowa farmers were to diversify we could overtake California as America’s breadbasket. Now I’m dreaming.
Rain has been a blessing to Iowa and is expected to be our future.
Beginning in 1832, after the Black Hawk War, the landscape of Iowa was transformed from a natural place to a grid of farm fields, cities and towns. Enhanced by global warming, and changes in the polar vortex and prevailing winds, it rains in Iowa — sometimes too much. Rain is all that’s left of what was once a natural world. I’d go so far as to say there is no nature, only sentient beings struggling to survive in this built environment.
No one begrudges Anthony Sells’ saw mill for processing the trees that gave a name to Big Grove Township where I live. There’s plenty of blame for the built environment to go around. It matters little how we got here. What matters more is answering the question what will we do next?
For me that means collecting rain in our yard and preventing erosion. Some rain will be stored in plant life, some in vegetables and fruit. Some will make it to the ditch and the nearby lake. Take what rain we need and release the rest into the Mississippi basin and beyond. Have faith in rain.
What’s here is rain. Rain remains, it’s covalently bonded electrons exemplary of our being. Let it rain.
~ Published in the Jan. 19, 2017 edition of the Solon Economist/North Liberty Leader.