Fresh Facts 11: Carpets of Gold

By November 20, 2016Fresh Facts, Newsletter

Those searching for California gold will be shouting EUREKA on seeing our orchard floors right now. A carpet of gorgeous gold invites everyone to come for a stroll, or lay down and take a nap…it would even be a beautiful spot for a wedding. Envision a bride in white walking down a tree lined aisle on a carpet of gold; it would be like the flower girls worked for a week. But now that I think about it, it would be kinda hard to plan the perfect week 6 months out though. I guess I oughta stick to farming and let Fraunk take care of the wedding planning.

Fall is an aptly named season. That gold carpet is the remains of the engine that powered your peaches. The photosynthetic alchemy of turning sunshine into sugar that every green plant performs still baffles scientists and every honest biologist. Life here on earth is totally dependent on the foliar process of taking in CO2, keeping the carbon, giving us oxygen to breathe and food to eat; you have to just sit in awe of the whole synergy.

We farmers track how many leaves it takes to support a peach, especially varieties that are naturally large. If the leaf to fruit ratio is too low, you’ll have tasteless fruit. Usually though you need adequate ratio to get fruit of marketable size.

So most people think that leaves fall because it gets cold, but the truth is related to day length. As the days get shorter, the tree’s internal clock says: “Your time is up.” The five dollar word farmers use for this is senescence, literally ‘Getting Old.’ We also deal with the factor of senescence in extremely late peach varieties. I guess the same clock that triggers the leaf has an impact on the fruit, but it’s something we look for when selecting September varieties; they have to hang there til we pull em off; bushels on the ground don’t pay the bills.

I think it’s an understatement to say we have a divided country and state. People on both sides refer to the other as: “those people.” They say awful things about the other that they would never say if they knew they were talking to the other.

This box of organic produce is delivered to communities that are to the left of Mao tse Tung and others that are to the right of John Birch…ponder that for a bit. And I hear how both sides talk about the other, and then I see how you interact together here on the farm. Here on the farm, we are a community united by good organic produce and farming.

Using this knowledge and as a service to America, Uncle Vern—your ambassador of good will and happiness—proposes: the Reconciliation and Reunification of America through Organic Produce Act. Under this ground breaking act, families will be required to prepare and share a meal with a family from the other once a week or until such time as the words us and we become common.

I can’t imagine after sharing some butternut squash and apple pie, hearing the other’s hopes and dreams for their children and sharing their own that people won’t be closer, happier, and more unified to solve the challenges our communities, states, and country face.

Perhaps we should set up a kitchen in Congress. Let ‘em peel potatoes and slice carrots together until they can legislate together. Bring in the spouses and kids and grandkids. Shared meals foster shared vision. Can’t hurt and at least they would eat healthy!

Author Uncle Vern

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