Based on the predicted future climatic conditions in your region, what impacts (ecological, economic, etc) on your agricultural system do you expect?
I live in Mendocino County just west of Lake Mendocino.I have a small piece of property and my goal is to have a small nursery and to grow drought tolerant California native plants that can be used for landscaping purposes and that also support native pollinators. I also plan on continuing to grow fruits and vegetables and to keep bees and raise chickens for personal consumption.
I used CalAdapt’s projected means for minimum and maximum temperatures and annual rainfall to think about the viability and challenges of this goal. From their data I can expect higher temperatures with similar rainfall totals. The higher projected temperatures will generate a need for more water and will affect the types of trees that I can plant now for the future. I will need to plant trees with less chilling requirements than are now grown in this area. I will also need to choose landscaping plants that have lower water requirements.
I live a few miles away from the site of the largest wildfire in the history of California. I am trying to understand ways to work with Cal Fire’s recommendations for leaving completely cleared areas around structures and homes and with the Model Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) passed by the State of CA 5 years ago in response to our extreme drought. MWELO regulations include incorporating large amounts of organic matter into the soil and protecting the soil with mulch. Use of mulch close to structures is in opposition to Cal Fire’s recommendations. Also, the planting of low to very low water using plants, as recommended by MWELO, may potentially create fuel for wildfires.
Vegetable crops are high water using plants and our class readings gave some good ideas for cultural practices such as planting annual crops between fruit trees to block the wind and reduce water stress.