Fresh Facts: An Uncle Vern Throwdown We Can All Win Gold at Every Day

By February 27, 2014Newsletter


Volume 7, Week 26, February 17-19 , 2014

This is just the prettiest bloom time ever. I’m always in awe at the wonder of new life on the farm, whether it’s a new lamb, germinating seed, or these beautiful bouquets in our orchards, it’s a profound mystery that I for one don’t pretend to understand. Sure, I make my living from it, I know the management practices necessary throughout the year to make bloom time successful, I can name all the parts of a flower; but to watch all of that erupt out of what looked like bare sticks a few weeks ago……well, you come and look at these flowers with me, or a bunch of baby chicks and if you can tell me you’re not overwhelmed with wonder I’d have to check your pulse.

We’re having perfect bloom days as well. Light fog in the morning and mid seventies every day. The bees are loving it too. We have 85% of all the domestic bees in the U.S. taking a working California vacation here for the next couple months. You can see license plates from Oregon to Tennessee, Montana and South Dakota to Nevada. Mostly they’re here for the almonds, and with every almond acre requiring 2-3 hives times 850,000 acres you can see how every hive in America goes on a truck that says “California or bust.” They generally stick around for the citrus bloom next month. Unlike our almonds and plums, citrus has a huge nectar flow and they can pack their combs full of California gold before heading home. This is just the prettiest bloom time ever!

One of the reasons the flowers are so pretty is there’s no rain discoloring the petals. The inch and a half we got a couple weeks ago made us all feel better but really just settled the dust. I was asked on facebook a month or so ago if this drought would affect your AH farmers and I said that other than having to pump from deeper we’d get by; I was wrong. Jacob and David Mendrin (JND) lost their well on the home place this week and need $50,000 immediately to replace it. If anybody can help ’em out for 6 months, they’re good for it. 50 people with $1,000 each or one with 50. These young men are up against it.

Dave Silveira relies on district water and there’s not any. A loan won’t help that. Personally, I’ve abandoned one well and lowered and boosted horsepower on three others but that’s minor by comparison. This drought isn’t just talk, there’s real human tragedy unfolding daily all around us. Let’s change subjects.


Hey! Ya been watchin the Olympics!? How on earth do people ride two sticks down a mountain at 80 mph or do triple 9 ½ double reverse whatchamacallits on purpose and then do it again backwards???? It’s so amazing what talented people can do when they commit their lives to it.

But I’ve noticed it’s really rare for any of these athletes to stay at the top of their sport for 3 Olympics which is only 8 years. That’s not at all to diminish the accomplishment, but to keep it in perspective.

Here’s an Uncle Vern throwdown we can all win gold at every day. I want to be the very best husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, employer, friend on planet earth. That’s the competition I’m in everyday as long as I’m here, and with God’s help, I intend to stand at the top of the podium in each category one day while something way greater than the Star Spangled Banner plays. When I land on my head—again—I intend to get back up, ask forgiveness and try again til I get it right and I’m grateful to join each of you in this worthy pursuit.


~Vernon Peterson

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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