Bowl of guacamole and chips. Photograph: Heath Robbins/Getty Images
I am just missing Cinco de Mayo in Old Town, San Diego this year but I will celebrate there next year. It is arguably the best Cinco de Mayo celebration in California. The rental truck, loaded with my plant lab and personal stuff will be rolling on its way to San Diego Friday morning May 9.
Of course I do not have the power to solve the drought but I can sure help using my 40 years of experience with water-saving sub-irrigated planter systems (SIPs).
SIP water conservation is not just a subjective opinion. There are professional studies that demonstrate water savings of 70% or more growing in SIPs while producing more productive and healthier edible and decorative plants…no mythical “green thumb” required. Even young kids can do it and SIPs definitely make gardening a lot easier for seniors like me.
Along with writing a couple of books about urban greenscaping with SIPs, I will ramp up posting activity on this blog. At my age it is long overdue for me to recruit some new bloggers and pass the baton.
My objective is to find some forward-looking people who are science and technology minded with an interest in the environment and 21st century urban greenscaping. It will be a personal joy to share what I know with like minded people.
The goal is to make Inside Urban Green a revenue generator with readership in the same league as Treehugger, Apartment Therapy and Inhabit to name a few. That is an attainable goal but one blogger cannot do it alone. It will take a motivated and dedicated team but it will be well worth the effort.
This year, food and drink-based Cinco de Mayo celebrations will be affected by the skyrocketing prices of limes. The hit to margaritas and guacamole are nothing compared to next year, though, when the California drought and resultant crop shortages are expected to ripple across the Cinco de Mayo meal table with higher prices expected for tomatoes, lettuce and avocados.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday inspired by a battle won by the Mexican army in Puebla, Mexico in 1862. That city is the only place in Mexico where the holiday is widely acknowledged, but in the US, it has become an opportunity to commemorate the influence of Mexican American culture by eating guacamole and drinking margaritas.
This year, margarita production is threatened by the lime shortage, caused by a widespread citrus disease and cartel battles in Mexico’s lime-growing region. Last year, lime case prices were about $15-20. This year, cases can cost around $100.
Impending Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and general year-round enjoyment of guacamole and margaritas could be further threatened because of California’s devastating drought, which has harmed food production in the state that produces nearly half of US-grown produce and nuts. Here’s a look at some of the top crops that are being threatened by the state’s water shortage.
California produces nearly 90% of America’s avocado crop, making it the primary domestic provider of the fruit. Experts expect the spring avocado crop to be the state’s smallest since 1990. Timothy Richards, an Arizona State University agribusiness professor, estimates that there will be a 28% increase in avocado prices because of the drought.
Some growers will focus their sales on the west coast to save on shipping costs and ensure a fresher product, according to food service trade publication QSR. The other parts of the country will face an increased reliance on imported avocados from Mexico and Chile, which had a smaller than usual avocado crop as well.
Richards estimates prices for lettuce, one of California top 20 exports, will jump by 34% because of the drought. Since there aren’t any good substitutes for lettuce, it is a crop that economists expect people will be willing to pay a higher price for. California produces 74% of US-grown lettuce, according to the USDA.
Read more at the Guardian