Marley Nahum of Douglas, Co., Colo. shows her prize-winning chicken at the state fair's youth livestock auction.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
Not just in Colorado, but all across the country, more people are moving from rural towns to cities. Since it takes fewer people to run farms these days, what’s the role of one of rural america’s the highest profile institutions: the state fair?
Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:57 am
At Happy Boy Farms near Santa Cruz, Calif., Early Girl tomatoes are grown using dry-farming methods. The tomatoes have become increasingly popular with chefs and wholesalers.
Credit Courtesy Jen Lynne/Happy Boy Farms
A week without water can easily kill the average person.
But a garden that goes unwatered for months may produce sweeter, more flavorful fruits than anything available in most mainstream supermarkets — even in the scorching heat of a California summer. Commercial growers call it "dry farming," and throughout the state, this unconventional technique seems to be catching on among small producers of tomatoes, apples, grapes, melons and potatoes.
Across the High Plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now.