Fresh Facts: Riding Out the Record Highs Together is Better

By February 6, 2014Newsletter

Volume 7, Week 23, January 31 – February 1, 2014

If I remember my 5th grade California history correctly, Mr. Sutter was digging a ditch up by Sacramento to bring water to run his mill in 1848 when the guys discovered some gold. He had a hard time finding ditch diggers after that, as the boys all became infected with gold fever.

1849 saw the population of California explode in what is now known as the California Gold Rush. I know, you thought that was the name of a log ride, but it really was an historical event. Some of those 49ers—not the football team—started measuring daily temperature and rainfall, and so when you see “record temperature for this date,” 1849 (which isn’t really that long ago) is as far back as they go in these parts.

All of that to say that if we don’t have rain by the time most of you are reading this, it will be the first January since 1849 that we haven’t had any rain. Another guy studying tree rings says this is the driest spell in 500 years.

All I know is it’s dry, and way too warm. Folks are wearing T-shirts and flip flops, our cat started shedding in January, and orchards have started blooming several weeks early. The danger obviously is that this spring train’s got no brakes, kinda like that roller coaster. Once she starts heading towards summer, hang on, because one way or the other guys; this is going to be exciting. Every year farmers say: “I ain’t never seen a year like this.” Well, we’re making history, and in a few months, we’ll all be able to say we lived through the great drought and early spring of 2014.

I say let’s enjoy the ride. There are lots of things worse than T-shirts and flip flops and blooming nectarine orchards. I talked to a gal in Ohio where I order those little white stickers on the top of your box. She said it was 15 degrees there with 40 mph winds, colder than Alaska she said, and it was supposed to snow down to Pensacola….I just want to order more stickers sweetheart.

Well, we’ve got all the orchard’s frost furrows in place and irrigated, so we’re as ready as we can be for wherever this ride takes us and the best part is, we get to enjoy it—for better or worse—together. I think the camaraderie of any adventure is as sweet as the adventure itself. The people you choose to do life with and share community with aren’t just part of, but indeed are life. If a man rode a tree down to his probable demise and no one was around to watch…

Hey, speaking of community, this Abundant Harvest Organics alliance we’re all part of is just that, a community of producers and co-producers and it runs on a very very slim margin so farmers can get a great return and you all can get a great value. When even a fraction of the totes don’t come back, it’s a significant unsustainable loss for everybody.We function on the premise that anyone with the integrity to seek out fresh organic produce to fuel their family will have the integrity to return their container to the alliance.

Please oh please—for the love of kale—bring all your boxes back so we can keep this thing going and everybody can

~Vernon Peterson

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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