The End of SoCal Lawns? Record-Low Rainfall?
You Heard It Here, First
Okay, well maybe not "first."
But for anyone who is both a regular attendee of free-of-charge Friday @ noon Farmlab Public Salon (complete schedule), as well as a reader of the Los Angeles Times, then at least a pair of stories in the Thursday, July 5, 2007 edition would be old news.
First, there's a huge piece on the cover of the weekly Home section, headlined, "Public enemy No.1?" Teaser text preceding the headline says, "Lush lawns are a Southern California obsession. But with rainfall at historic lows, a turf war is heating up. Critics wonder if grass is always greener."
That story brings to mind the comments and work of -- among others -- Fritz Haeg, he of GardenLab and the Edible Estates projects. Here's a brief write-up of Haeg's December, 2006 Farmlab Public Salon appearance.
Also, in today's California section was a chart detailing the "Driest L.A. rain season on record." As in, the past year, only 3.21 inches of rain was registered in downtown. That's about a foot less than average -- though as Farmlab Public Salon attendees will recall, when JPL climatologist extraordinaire Dr. Bill Patzert stopped by in late March to deliver his always candid and colorful remarks, Patzert reminded the crowd not to take that statistical norm too much to heart -- in short, don't expect that amount of precipitate.
L.A.'s rainfall has traditionally been more boom and bust. Of course, without the local wherewithal to capture and capacity to store runoff from those occasional winter water deluges, then at least from this blogger's understanding, those 'booms' are more like the sound of one-hand-clapping.
Above: A site not seen much since -- post-rainfall, downtown Los Angeles, from September, 2005