Volume 7, Week 50, August 3 – 9, 2014
Last year about this time was when we had the tree removal adventure. Actually, the ride from 30 feet up was pretty exhilarating; it was just the sudden stop that caused me all the grief.
By the way, if you ever limp away from some body-wrenching event like that and find you can’t stand up straight or whatever because your body knitted back together crooked, find somebody that does Rolfing (Google it) and get those knots untied. The cure hurts worse than the problem, because they’ve gotta get down into those muscles and soft tissues that are twisted and healed wrong, separate ’em back apart and straighten ’em out. Hurts like crazy while they’re doing it, the next day aches and feels like you did something physically strenuous, but by the third day, you’re straighter and moving more freely. Took three trips to the torture chamber to get the tree incident squared away. I kept saying: “I can’t believe I’m paying for this,” but since the punishment fit the crime we persevered. Next we straightened out some other misadventures and after a couple months of once a week I was in pretty good shape.
This week, we needed to trim the 50 foot shade trees around the house so they wouldn’t break off and bust the house up…Yeah, I hired a 4 foot tall, 90 pound guy to shinny up there, paid him a month’s salary for three day’s work. Trees look great, Carol’s happy, but no story to tell.
Well, we’ve pretty much finished our stone fruit harvest, believe it or not, and left a bunch of “evers” in the history books. Earliest ever do to 80 degrees at Christmas. Best quality ever, do to it being so dry and no hail. And most profitable ever do to stone fruit being in such short supply. The short supply is going to worsen in spite of high prices because farmers just don’t have the confidence there will be available labor and are replacing high labor crops like peaches with low labor crops like nuts.
Actually, all of agriculture is very profitable simultaneously right now; something that I have never witnessed before. Usually, one commodity is up, and another is down. “Demand exceeds” is the term being used for most food items. And this simultaneous profitability—at a time when the rest of the world’s economy is poor—has caught the attention of investors worldwide. U.S. farmland, I’m told, is seen as an attractive safe place to park investments in this chaotic world. Regardless the cause, the combination of simultaneous profitability, no water, and outside capital has taken an acre of land with water from $15,000 to $30,000 in 2 years with the best bringing $45,000. Think of that in your own world: say your house (or rent) doubled in 2 years.
I’m not that smart, I’m just sharing with family what I see here on the farm like I do every Monday morning. And I’m sure you’re seeing the price of food rising in your grocery store, while simultaneously finding less “produce of USA.”
I think going forward; direct relationships between farmers and consumers (what we call co-producers)are going to become even more important. Couple knowing the local organic source with having a local organic source with fresh and nutritious adventurous seasonal produce and I think we’ve got a very exciting, sustainable scenario; so long as you can keep your farmers from falling out of trees.