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Fuzzy Kisses--and Fuzzy Details About the Georgia Drought

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:12am

Been trying to eat more raw foods and I remembered the cute little date nut balls I had at Arden's Garden and thought, "I could make those." And organically, which Arden's Garden are not. A handful of simple ingredients (dates, dried Turkish apricots, pumpkin seeds, dehydrated banana chips, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of oil, whirled in the food processor then rolled in balls and then in coconut) and here they are. Outrageously delicious. (And high in iron!)

The next morning, it snowed again here in Atlanta. Always a big event, even though the flurries lasted just a half hour or so. As my younger daughter and I were walking through the woods, we saw the sprinkled sugar-snow on the forest floor's leaves and I remarked, "It looks like coconut. It's as if Atlanta has been fuzzy kissed this morning!" And if that's not a thought that will make you warm, I don't know what will.

But, of course, the recent rain and snow leads folks to think the worst drought in Atlanta's history is over, so instead of battening down the hatches and truly preparing for what may come this year, watering ban rules are being relaxed, the pools most likely will be filled, amusement parks with water rides will open on time as long as they install some low-flow toilets, and I believe I still have the only rain barrel in my neighborhood.

A letter came from the Dekalb County Department of Watershed Management the other day. It listed its water conservation initiatives as well as water conservation tips for residents. The usual suspects were there: wash only full loads of laundry and dishes, keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up and take shorter showers, turn the water off when you brush your teeth, make sure your home is leak-free, avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily.

But glaringly missing from either list were the following:

* Rainharvesting and water re-use, including rain barrels, rain gardens and grey water systems

* Xeriscaping and lawn reduction

* Wetland conservation and expansion

* Promotion (or requirement) of permeable surfaces to return water to the watershed

* Promotion of organic gardens and farms to reduce water toxicities and runoff

* Ways to cut down on electricity, the largest use of water

* Solar power and other alternative energy initiatives

But there are a couple positive drought-awareness things happening:

There was a nice article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about three high school kids who are distributing water conservation flyers, sponsoring river clean-ups, and lobbying state lawmakers. Here is their website.

Also, I received a postcard from Hastings Garden Center (where I usually buy my Seeds of Change seeds) and it is advertising xeriscaping plants and offering a "drought-buster guarantee."

But that's it, folks. As far as I can see, nothing has really changed this winter. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention. The state of Georgia is trying to move its border one mile north so it can tap into the Tennessee River and get access to yet more water to manage inefficiently. That's been the big development.

Sounds fuzzy.

Time for a fuzzy kiss, I think.
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