I wrote this story in 2009, thought you’d enjoy the retelling:
Took a little road trip (in an 18-wheeler) up to Clear Lake to fetch your pears from our new friend Dave Mostin. Beautiful Mountain Bartletts by the way that we’ll start suckin’ up next week. Okay, so it’s cruise control 55 til an hour above Sacramento, then you hang a left and head 70 miles up the mountain, around Clear Lake & finally make it to the ranch. Just a lovely place to make a living if you could figure it out. We visit a bit, take a tour load your 40 bins and now I’m off DOWWWNNN the mountain weighing right close to 80,000 GVW!
Now I got a truck driving license when I was 17 with my dad’s 1-ton pick-up and a goose-neck trailer. In the day, there were no varying degrees of a class I license; kinda like being pregnant, you either is or you ain’t, so I was legal to haul nuclear weapons or school children. I’ve kept up the license so I can help out in a pinch and since I always like to meet the folks, shake their hand, and write the 1st check myself, this seemed like a good way to do all that & then haul the pears back home. BUT, just because I have the license and own a few trucks that we roll over mostly flat land, doesn’t make me qualified to bring 80,000 lbs down a 7% grade for 2 hours. OH MY GOODNESS!!!
The Jake Brake’s screamin’. I smell brake & I can see the obituary: “local farmer Vernon Peterson ends in a fiery crash covered with roasted Bartletts! Family still confounded as to why he didn’t just hire a real trucker.” I was never so glad to see the valley floor and flat land again. The rest of the ride home was uneventful. I even made it to my mother-in-law’s for dinner, thus momentarily eluding the dog house.
That was just a prelude to the main point. The Mostins are just swell folks, 3rd generation pear farmers struggling like everybody else. You paid him at least 40% more than he’d have received otherwise for which they were most grateful. But wait there’s more! You paid him cash at harvest, instead of the best-case alternative of 35 days from shipping. Oh no, there’s still more. You can go add Organic Mountain Bartletts to your order for a measly 80 cents a pound so regular folks like us can enjoy organic without the snob appeal.
So, I don’t know if they’ll still be 80 cents, but they still come from our friends Dave and Cheryl Mostin up in Clear Lake who are about to start their harvest. They’ve been nourishing us with fruit from their 115-year-old Bartlett Pear trees each fall as long as you’ve been getting this weekly organic produce. You can visit their farm virtually from our website and if you watch the video at the end, you’ll meet a man passionate about pears.
Oh, and I let a real trucker bring ’em down. I still thank my guardian angels for getting me—and the pears—safely off that mountain.