Next Thurs., Feb. 13th, 7pm, Petaluma Grange will co-sponsor a viewing of the fine film, Symphony of the Soil, with Petaluma Seed Bank, 199 Petaluma Blvd. N.,7pm, with guest speaker and one of the film’s subjects, our local guy, Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm outside Sebastopol. Paul is locally famous for his no-till farming practice which saves a great deal of water for farmers. Film trailer is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5QYZ

DROUGHT is the dreaded word around here if you’re a farmer and we are (though just heard a FLOOD WARNING till 7:45pm today!) Quite strange, this weather we’re having…not entirely NATURAL? We’re part of Petaluma Grange partly because of this: we want to understand what’s going on due to climate change – and counter the bad stuff with good.

So here comes Paul Kaiser, one of the creators of this informative and beautiful film, Symphony of the Soil. Paul K is a hero to many and friend to many. His CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes are aren’t cheap at $26@ – he tells us people get on average 30% more veggies in the boxes. Gorgeous food stuffs, too, and they just harvested cabbages! (Ours just seeded).

After the film, Q and A – and “cook and milkies,” silly way of saying home baked cookies and local Jersey milk are offered! We deserve it.

Though right now I see rain out my office window, and the pipes behind me are dripping water, am told we may be in a seven-year-or-longer drought – or a 143 year drought?!? Though Old Farmers Almanac (and may those old farmers know better than the rest of us!) states we’re due for serious rain in both Feb. and Mar.

Boy Howdy as My Mum (from Nebraska) used to say – we’re in some kind of trouble when ranchers have to sell – or kill -the stock they can’t afford to feed – and the feed pastures aren’t growing much around here or anywhere West or Southwest.

So thank you, Paul Kaiser, and the producers of Symphony of the Soil, filmed on four continents over four years – for the information about no-till farming helping us save water as we grow crops. Can we find grain growers who can supply people with big animals with the grain lost to drought? Sad story, very sad, especially because this drought is thought to be part of man-made climate change – the slow warming of our planet that puts us all at risk.

Though easy solutions to huge problems aren’t a snap, at least we can move in a healthy direction with our friends in the Grange, on local farms, in our community who care enough to pay attention to what the land needs so we can live our lives in relative peace and good health. A wish or reality?

I go back again to David Brower’s (founder, Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth) acronym for environmental health: CPR = conservation, preservation, restoration.

What Paul Kaiser and the producers of Symphony of the Soil offer is understanding and then restoration of the land we depend on for our wellbeing. So thank you to them, and hope many who read this will come be audience for the film next Thurs. February 13, 7pm at the Petaluma Seed Bank.