Fresh Facts Week 30: Tastier Fruit and the Benefits of an Alliance of Growing Experts

Uncle Vern’s Weekly Farm-Fueled Musings, March 16–23, 2014 

And then it was green! Orchards have gone from sticks to flowers to leaves with tiny fruit under them. We actually start thinning Tasty Rich Apriums this morning, which would mean harvest should start early as well; last week of April, Lord willing. Bloom was way early due to the incredibly warm January but also strung out; as if we had inadequate chilling. That wasn’t the case, but if you live long enough, you’ll see everything.

This is my 39th year signing payroll checks, not counting the apprentice years, and there’s one thing I can guarantee you: there’ll never be another year like this one because there was never a year like the other 38. Our job comes down to staying ahead of whatever our crops need, so knowing that if weather is doing this, our crops will need that, and timely getting that to them enhances success.

You can’t make a crop or a flock or your classroom do much of anything, but you can—yea and verily you must—create an environment conducive to excellence within the anticipated parameters, and that accurate anticipatory response based on real experience is why we get more done with less effort as we age. It’s like God’s gift of compensation for not being as quick.

Back at the orchard, we know that dry early years will yield smaller—and tastier—fruit, so it’s better to leave a lighter crop on the tree to compensate and that’s my game plan for this morning.

Now, while I have this accumulated experience growing stone fruit, I only have cursory knowledge of what it would take to grow peas and even less about potatoes. Sure, I’ve cut up potatoes and planted them in my garden, watched the plants grow and golly, there were a bunch of potatoes down there at the end of summer, but that doesn’t hold a candle to what the Mendrin brothers know about potatoes after growing them their whole life, or what Dave Silveira knows about lettuce and everybody else on the right side of the back page knows about their crops.

What we do is tend your garden for you, which doesn’t quite seem fair. We get to have all the fun of planting seeds and watching them sprout, hoeing out the weeds, training the peas up a stake; pruning, thinning, fertilizing, and harvesting.

But a big advantage you get is our hundreds of years of cumulative experience dealing with frost and rain and heat and drought and bugs that thought you were growing the stuff just for them.

But Uncle Vern, last week you were wanting us to grow our own garden, and now you’re telling us how challenging it is; what gives?

Our goal is your excellent health. Grow a garden; you’re going to be healthier for many reasons beyond just the produce.

Hey! Here’s some neat stuff our connectedness managers came up with. On the back side of that little square on the bottom of the paper newsletter, Amy Beth has all the ways you can connect with us. Tear it off and put it in your wallet or purse to hand to people who don’t know about us.

While your friends are on the website, they can click “Delivery Sites.” Jessica has a Google map of the state and every community we’re in. They can find the closest spot; get a map, a street view, delivery time, a message from their host and a link to sign up; way cool. Fresh, organic, timelessly grown like grandpa would, integrated with 21st century technology.


Author AHO Kitchen Team

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