Take a deep breath. The rain is coming.
San Diego County could see upwards of an inch of rain Wednesday.
History shows the region is not accustomed to the free water from the sky. That includes local farmers who learned to grow their crops knowing water for irrigation usually comes at a premium.
“It completely throws us off guard,” said Adam McCurdy.
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He’s the Director of Farm Production at Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas.
“We’re a community farm with a focus on nourishing community,” said McCurdy. “The food that we’re producing is focused on going towards hunger relief.”
He said they’ve worked out a good system to grow organic, healthy crops in Encinitas.
“Crops grow like you wouldn’t even believe. Now, that said, we are completely dependent on our irrigation system,” he admitted. “It’s very expensive and it’s a lot, a lot of labor to maintain the survival of those crops.”
McCurdy said he is looking forward to some free precipitation Wednesday, but he hesitated. He said rainfall in San Diego County is inconsistent and storms are few-and-far between. McCurdy said a heavy rainfall in a short amount of time after extended sunny days can disrupt the soil cultivated for the crops.
“It’s a little bit hard to work with,” he said while standing near a long, green bed of arugula. “It’d be great if we were to see a few inches of rain every month.”
“What really helps us is the rain that sticks around,” agreed Cal Fire Captain Thomas Shoots. “We love these little weather patterns but ultimately all it’s doing is buying us a little bit more time. It’s never really getting us out of the woods.”
Capt. Shoots said consistent rainfall every month could greatly decrease the region’s threat of wildfire. Instead, occasional rain often is accused of only producing fuel for fires.
“I know there’s always the argument that the more rain brings the seasonal grasses. Then those grasses can help carry those larger wildfires,” said Shoots.
However, San Diego storms merely buy firefighters time before the ground is dry and wildfires emerge. Shoots said Wednesday’s rain would probably be forgotten by Friday, when the usual San Diego weather that’s perfect for McCurdy’s is expected to return.
“We are so blessed with this weather and this sunshine,” he smiled.