Fresh Facts 43: Pure Organic Goodness

It’s just plain HOT! I like heat, rather be hot than cold any day, but this is hot. How hot is it, Uncle Vern? It’s so hot I saw two trees fightin’ over one dog! It’s hot.

And that’s sending the snow melt down hard. My mark on the boat ramp from ‘69 is 6 inches under. Six inches above a record is a lot of water. Cassie and I will get you some pictures; really beautiful.

We are in the peak of our stone fruit season right now; all hands are on deck struggling to get fruit harvested, hauled, and packed, but the truth is when it gets to 100 degrees, you just have to go home. No peach is worth the well-being of our people.

So what happens to the fruit if you can’t get it picked, uncle Vern? Well, too much of it is lost to soft, which is sad. Sad because we’ve worked all year to grow it, prices are really high and there goes profit literally ‘out the chute.’

But we can’t focus on what could have been, we have to see what is and do as much as we can with what is and be grateful for what is. The farmers in the South—Georgia, the Carolinas—got completely froze out this year for instance; all that fruit, all those jobs, all those families… ‘I was sad because I had no shoes til I saw a man who had no feet.’

So we do all we can and be grateful for what we can. We start at first light—5:30—we’re soaked with sweat by 5:45, pound lots of water and work like crazy til about noon and then go find a cool place.

There’s another physiological thing that happens to the tree when it gets really hot; it goes into survival mode, focusing on transpiration instead of ripening. That helps us a lot most years when the really hot spell is 100-105. This 10 days of 105-110 is really uncommon and unusually challenging to say the least; but hey, we’ve got some really excellent fruit right now and hope you’re enjoying it.

Of all the benefits of organic food (good for the environment, no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides), the most often overlooked is also the most immediately important to your health and that’s the absence of fungicides.

The organic fruit in your box, whether it’s strawberries or peaches, have no fungicides on them. This really is the most difficult part of organic fruit farming from bloom through harvest and it’s really difficult on a wet year like this. The decay microbes need moisture to flourish, and they’ve had plenty of it this year; another difficulty we’re grateful for by the way.

So why are fungicides such a big deal, Uncle Vern? Because something like 80% of your healthy immune system comes from the microbial activity in your gut. If a fungicide kills the microbial decay activity on a peach—which it does or it wouldn’t be used—what does that do to the billions of microbes in your gut? As we say in Swedish, no bueno.

So as you bite into this fruit this week, be thankful for the men and women who worked so hard to get it to you and know you’re enjoying pure organic goodness.

Eat better!

Author Uncle Vern

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