Carol and I had a chance to drive up Kings Canyon last Saturday and out to the end of the road at Cedar Grove. Once again, EPIC. Odds are excellent you will never see it more spectacular than right now in your life.
As you know, the canyon burned a couple years ago in the Rough Fire. That was a couple years ago. With all the rain, the canyon is green; every kind of wild flower imaginable has been saving-up for this wardrobe and now they’re just showing off for the tourists.
Here’s another interesting thing I observed. Most of the scrub oak, red bud, and manzanita seems to be suckering up from the burned- out trunks, so in reality, the tragedy seems to have become a gift; how many times have we all experienced that in our own lives? And all that fresh red bud growth is going to bloom fantastically next spring!
Another phenomenon we haven’t seen for quite a while: the South Fork is running at an historic high. White water wall to wall, roaring so forcefully through the canyon it demands and holds your attention, transfixed by the raw energy.
Here’s one last cool thing. That water grows the food in this basket. Our recent ancestors had the tenacity—using horses and mules—to create a gravity water distribution system that turned essentially a desert into the most productive agricultural area in the world. Cassie and I did a couple little videos on this we think you’ll enjoy.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, we’re finally settling in to a daily harvest flow that just feels good; maybe like a distance runner hitting and holding their stride and I have a confession: I really enjoy everything about our stone fruit harvest, maybe a little too much.
But with your indulgence, let me describe it for you. Stone fruit harvest from the outside looking in is absolute chaos. We harvest some 150 fields from ours and another dozen farmers. Each field has to be picked 2-5 times. Each variety was selected, planted, and farmed to fill a specific demand at a specific sequential time. We put a LOT of effort into this selection for two reasons:
First, our most valuable asset is our people and they need steady work. Our second most valuable asset is our customers who need steady supply throughout the summer. So, it’s pretty easy, you just need to get peaches (yellow and white), plums (red and black), nectarines (yellow and white), apricots plus a few apriums and pluots coming in steady sequential order just like you planned, customers needing those exact quantities packaged up in the exact materials you ordered a couple months prior. Of course, quality will always be excellent, and everyone will live happily ever after…yet it never works out exactly as you’d hoped.
So why do you love it so much Uncle Vern? It could be the adrenaline of meeting an impossible task every day and accomplishing it. Better yet, I think it’s meeting that completely impossible task joined with a couple hundred other people totally committed to accomplishing it also. It’s noble work that makes the world better, it’s excitingly impossible and I love it too much.