We have a saying in my industry: “There’s no whining until August.” Well, guess which month this is? The thought popped into my head that since our stone fruit industry sponsors the famous Blossom Trail each spring, maybe we could have the Whine Trail every August. People could come from far and wide. We could make little maps, post it on the internet, and put out signs for people to follow to all the fruit packing sheds where they could sample delicious peaches, plums, and nectarines served by the grumpiest people on the planet. Fortunately, while a very predictable phenomenon, whine season is quite temporary—seldom lasting more than a week or so. I believe it was General Eisenhower who said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” So after a few months of long hard going, people just need a good cleansing whine to purge their pent-up frustrations before finishing the season. Now if you’re a newbie, you might get caught off guard by whine season and take it personally. That’s why I think we should just put it on the calendar as a specified week. The whole purpose of the saying, “No whining til August,” is for the complainers in May, June, and July. If we had it on the calendar, people could save up their complaints and then let it all out in one big, non-judgmental, nothing personal, preordained whine-fest. Wrap-up the week with some great California cheese like a good stinky Limburger properly paired with the whine; then get back to work.
Clear Lake Bartletts are in your box this week. I just love Clear Lake Bartletts. They’re grown at pretty high elevation on ancient trees, and all that crisp mountain goodness comes through. The trick to Bartletts is patience. Right out of your box, they’re still pretty hard, but give ’em 4 to 5 days and zowie, your mouth will do the happy dance and it’ll take a lot of personal control to keep your feet from joining the celebration. Heather has ’em up as an add-on if you’re needing a pear fix. Autumn Royal table grapes from our farm are also available if you need more for your lunch box. This is also your chance for our once a year wild Alaskan Sockeye run. I spoke to Uncle Norm (my niece’s uncle-in-law, actually) yesterday. His family fishes the mouth of the Kenai for Sockeye. While his catch is historically limited, he said prices are up quite a bit. Good for Uncle Norm, not as good for us, but if you’ve ever tried this wild Alaskan Sockeye, it’s really hard to go back to the corn-fed stuff. Also know that this fish is uber-sustainably harvested. Norm says there’s more beauracrats than fishermen in Cook’s Inlet this time of year (not surprising, there are 2½ times more USDA employees than farmers in America and you can’t get any of ’em to help pick peaches.) Hey, it’s August, I get to whine once a year remember. Organically grown Clear Lake Pears, Autumn Royal Grapes, and wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon at prices that benefit both the producer and the co-producer; this is the purpose and joy of Abundant Harvest Organics. It’s this week’s example of both what we do, and why we do it; and next week’s September, a whine-free zone. EAT HEALTHY!!!