Fresh Facts Week 44: Counting Blessings During Harried Harvest Season

Volume 8, Week 44, June 21-27, 2015

So we have had one big hairy run of stone fruit to pack the past few weeks. How big and hairy was it Uncle Vern? Well, let’s just say that last week we broke our all-time record for weekly volume by a third more.

Sixteen hour days and all the joy that goes with it—most of the joy comes on payday—but we were able to avoid packing on Sundays. We finally got some good heat, so harvest volume has gratefully slowed way down and given us a chance to take a breath, whew!

Today—Father’s Day—everyone got the day off for the first time in a long time. I rode my bike 40 miles before church this morning and felt pretty good about it. Tomorrow, we finish the Brittney Gold apricots you had in your box last week and start Honey Royale Nectarines. Look for my favorite Zee Lady freezer peaches both in your box and as an add-on in 10 days or so.

So sometimes, being so task centric blinds a fellow to the positives of his profession, so let me list a bunch of them regarding being an organic stone fruit farmer.

There are no boring days ever. Often, I would pay a lot to have a boring day, but I’m sure by the second boring day I’d quit payin’. Just refereeing 100 plus full time employees takes Solomonic discernment (there’s a cool feature in Word that lets you add something you made up like “Solomonic” to the dictionary; makes you feel like Webster.) Then there’s weather, bureaucrats, markets, machinery…Did I mention there are no boring days?

You get to live in the middle of an organic farm! When I walk out in the morning, I’m often overwhelmed and think: “My goodness, I get to live here?” Birds and crickets trying to outdo each other; incredible.

Farming is individually creative, not just in the way you turn the soil, or the crops you grow, but in the opportunities a farmer has to elevate people on so many levels: health, well-being, and employment.

Your job makes people’s lives better in immediate tangible ways, and it’s appreciated. I can think of dozens of careers that are necessary but not appreciated, and that would be a mighty tough way to live. As we’re packing your weekly produce, I often walk down the line just imagining all the families coming together around the dinner table and the reaction of various age groups to the different items. Old timers sayin’, “Now that right there’s the way corn tasted when I was a kid!” Little kids getting fruit juice all over ’em, teenagers saying, “More green beans please,” and college kids coming home sayin’, “I miss these veggies so much!”

Organic farming by definition leaves the world better than it was. There’s just no way with biological inputs to take out more than you put in.

And since I’m writing this on Father’s Day, it’s appropriate to say that my grandchildren are playing in the same dirt and mud my great-grandfather grew peaches in, and I believe he’d be proud of—and a bit astounded by—the way his farm is being cared for, and the way it’s caring for us six generations later.

Like the logo right below us says, “A healthy farm makes a healthy family, makes a healthy community, makes a healthy world.”

I love my job!

 

Author Uncle Vern

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