I grew up on Apple Hill Farm in Oregon, a small family farm where we make applesauce we sell locally. Growing up, I always looked forward to the end of summer when the apples would be big and we’d get to pick and eat as many as we could. It felt endless. It seemed magical! These trees had been around for decades; all you needed to do was trim the trees in the winter and be rewarded with apples in the fall. We never needed to water or tend to the trees.
But that’s begun to change. Now the summers get so hot that the leaves on our trees burn in the sun and we have to use our precious water to keep them alive during the driest months.
The hotter and drier the summer is, the harder it is for the trees to grow and the harder it is to have a good apple crop. The apples are tiny this year because of the drought. My family depends on the trees and the apples to support our family. I want a world where the trees get enough water from the rain, a world where apples are as bountiful as they were when I was growing up. And we can have that again if we act now on climate.
I’m inspired by the work that Rep. Peter DeFazio has done already on climate, and I’m excited that he voted for the $3.5 trillion package to build a better future for me and my family’s farm.