Well, that was a really nice restful two weeks; thanks boss for giving us some family time off.
2016 was a great year for our family. Erik got married to Stephanie so the house on the home place has its 4th generation of newlywed Petersons making it their home their way and making a living from that wonderful silt loam.
Our crops in 2016 were excellent in every way. We had adequate chilling and adequate rain. No hail or killing frost. We had enough workers and the workers had enough work and there were no serious life changing accidents. Prices for organic stone fruit were good so we made progress with the bank.
You guys interact with daughter Heather, her husband Sean runs the packing shed, and Erik takes care of the farming. It’s gratifying to see the next generation stepping into the daily farm responsibilities and it’s also gratifying to be part of an industry that needs such a range of skill sets that everyone in a family can find a niche that scratches their creative itch in a productive way.
When I was in college, Professor Petrucci in Viticulture 101 thought it was very important that we memorize the following verbatim and I’ve never forgotten: “Farming draws together into a unified whole, the loose skeins of knowledge from many closely and distantly related fields of knowledge and capitalizes on them to the fullest possible extent.”
We tallied-up all the computers we have around here the other day, and it came to 26. Too many of them are doing compliance requirements for the 53 bureaucracies that regulate our farm, but most are sorting and reporting, planning and improving the way fruit is grown harvested and distributed.
But there’s no computer yet made that can beat the old man’s shadow in the orchards, chicken houses, and packing shed so even though the kids are taking their places and the place would do fine if I got run over by a truck, Gramps still has a few cannons to charge and windmills to topple Lord willing.
Back to Abundant Harvest, I’m really stoked about the New Year’s start and especially this particular New Year. The only reason we exist is to make it easier for you to get where you’re going, kinda like an organic Uber if you will. Where people want to go is eating better and living easier and the start of a new year is typically the time we decide to change our trajectory.
Very few of us have holes in our schedules or time on our hands but the key to a life well lived is ruthlessly saying no to the good so we can say yes to the best; most of the best is an accumulation of small things done very well. Think about it: parenting and friendship; our trade and our volunteering; saving and spending…it’s all very small stuff in the course of our day that adds-up to really big results of excellence if we make all those little choices excellently.
I know this will sound self-serving since the letter came in a box of organic produce, but very little adds to the quality of life like a shared meal of tasty, homemade, organic food. And if sometimes you need to say no to personally creating that good because you have a different best destination for that time, let Sarah create tasty, homemade, organic food for you.
In a few weeks we expect to make doing that and everything else AHO a whole lot easier to keep on the best list of small choices in a life well lived.