January 27th, 2012

Harvesting Locally

During the January 10, 2012 Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting, District 1 Commissioner Scott Boyd raised an issue related to water management that I found particularly interesting. He showed an aerial photo of a section of Horizon West within walking distance from my home. This track of land consists of a residence and a pick-your-own blueberry operation. The blueberry operation was new last spring, but it seems to have already become part of the community. In fact, I already look forward to taking my kids to pick this spring.

Once the issue of whether reclaimed water can be used was answered (it can subsurface, but it can’t touch the fruit), the question was raised as to whether other types of agricultural commodities, like blueberries, should qualify for the same discounted rate for reclaimed water as citrus. Should there be a standard agricultural rate for this water?

Don’t know where this will lead, but the general response was positive that standardization should occur if at all possible. Regardless, I’m hoping to see continued support for these types of endeavors in our community, and especially right here in Horizon West. The demand for locally produced foods is certainly growing. This benefits the local community. Plus less energy and fuel are used to transport, process, and package foods that are used locally.

“In the future, when we practice a different kind of agriculture than the heavily subsidized, petroleum-intensive, single-crop system we follow today, farming may be down-scaled and regionalized, more food grown and consumed locally.” - James Howard Kunstler in The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape

Author: Tory Parish