Florida’s springs, part I

Our farm is in Florida.

Not this part of Florida:

West Palm Beach. (Credit to sun-sentinel.com.)

West Palm Beach. (Credit to the Sun-Sentinel.)

This part of Florida.

A spring in central Florida. (Credit to http://floridanature.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/inside-a-florida-spring-far-more-than-gps/)

A spring in central Florida. (Credit to Florida Nature.)

One of the pluses of living on a giant coral sandbar: Florida’s karst geology leads to some one-of-a-kind wetlands (*cough* Everglades), caves, and spring systems.

One of the minuses of living on a giant coral sandbar: it’s rather like being on a raft on top of a swimming pool full of your drinking water, and we all keep peeing in it. Another flipside is that groundwater is so plentiful that it’s taken for granted, and the aquifers are used so heavily that some springs and lakes have completely dried up. It’s especially detrimental in coastal areas that depend on the pressure of fresh water in the aquifers to “push” the seawater out of the way– with that going down, drinking water wells in some parts of coastal Florida have become salty and unusable.

As farmers, this presents a serious dilemma for us. You can’t have local food without local water. At the same time, we have to recognize and reckon with the fact that the aquifers are already stressed. What’s a farm to do about that?

To be continued….


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