Volume 8, Week 40, June 1-6, 2015
Well, this is that insane time of year in the life of a stone fruit farm that pays for the more sane months. I got a nice note from a co-producer asking what the fruit would be 10 days out so she could know if she wanted to order it or not. I forwarded her the harvest schedule for the next three days just to lift the veil a bit and give her a peek into Uncle Vern Land.
The reason there are only three days on the list is it would be a ludicrous waste of brain cells to try to guess further. Even tomorrow’s list that you made at 4:00 pm today is only going to be 80 percent correct because you’re working with a very volatile product that’s changing by the hour on the tree and is very unforgiving of tardiness. You also have the human factor of very independent farmers, and even more independent harvesters.
I think it’s a lot like a pregnant mom. She can go to her doctor who has all kinds of fancy schmantzy gizmos and years of experience to predict when the little joy bundle might arrive, but bottom line, the baby’s comin’ when it’s comin’, not an hour sooner or later; ya gotta work with the baby and ya gotta work with the plums.
Another co-producer wrote to remind me of her favorite one of these notes from some time back that I’d obviously partially plagiarized from somewhere since I’m not this smart. And I have a good memory, but it’s not that long so I don’t even remember where I got the core concept in the first couple paragraphs but since we’re into recycling, here it is:
Our word paradise comes from the Greek word paradeisos, which means “garden.” Isn’t that cool? Gardens, your garden, my garden, are little paradises. The Bible begins and ends in a perfect garden where everything is peace and health. From that, one might easily conclude that the rest of the history of man is “between gardens.” Doesn’t that explain a lot? It’s like our souls are longing to be in a garden. Flowers, food, bees, birds, health, peace, paradise, garden.
People fight and argue, but I sure can’t remember that happening in a garden. When’s the last time you saw a crime scene on the news in a garden? Gotcha thinkin’ don’t I?!
We might have solved the problem of world peace right here in our little organic newsletter. The world needs more gardens and gardeners: folks minding their own business making the world better and prettier and healthier one seed, one shovel at a time. All the stuff we need like Hope (can’t plant a seed without it), Joy (look at those daffodils), and Generosity (we’re just getting so much squash, would your family like some?) is abundant in a garden.
Then there’s garden therapy. Frustrations get shoveled and hoed into oblivion. Sipping something cool in the garden with your sweetie is the best attitude adjustment known. Trouble sleeping disappears after a garden workout. Gardens and gardening are pretty much the solution to all of mankind’s challenges.
I can see doctors, psychiatrists, and judges all directing folks to garden therapy for whatever’s wrong.”
Since writing this, I’ve made some further observations regarding the restorative power of farm-soiled hands. Returning war veterans are finding wholeness on farms. School children have their wonder buttons pushed in gardens. Confused old-timers with memory issues find tranquility in garden tending. Cancer patients find healing and hope, prisoners find purpose and inner city residents who turn vacant littered lots into vegetables and flowers create beauty.