Posts Tagged With: California

The End of the Season

The 2015 harvest season has come to a close already. It started early on April 24th with our first pick of the season and ended on July 31st with the last load of Goldline peaches delivered to cold storage. Prices were consistently good this year which will help cover the expense of putting in two new wells. The drought here in California is in its fourth year and Tulare County, where we live, has been hit the hardest. Thankfully prices were consistently good this season which will help cover the cost of putting in two new wells.

New Well #1

New Well #1

New Well #2

New Well #2

Mike planned ahead and got on the 6 to 9 month waiting list for drilling in June, 2014. One well was drilled in November and the other in February. (Cool, Clean Water!) The well in November was drilled as an insurance policy in case the drought continued.  The one in February was out of necessity because one existing well went dry.

The pump for Well #1 did not arrive until May, however. By that time, two of our three existing wells had gone dry and the third was on its last trickle of water. This required Mike to be irrigating our 65 acres of fruit trees 24/7 for a couple months. You can liken this to having a newborn baby. He was up every 3 to 4 hours day and night watering the trees during those two months. A sleep-deprived 62 year-old farmer is not a pretty picture. Mike had to cancel his local fruit deliveries because he knew he was not safe behind the wheel. He also had to delegate tractor work and repairs to others, which was an added expense.

Hard-working Farmer Mike

Hard-working Farmer Mike

Well #2 requires work by the electric company which is another major expense. We are considering using a propane system instead of electricity. In the meantime, we have the one producing pump to irrigate all of our farm. Even though the harvesting is done, the trees begin preparing for next year’s crop shortly after they are harvested. Healthy trees require sufficient water to set a good crop, so Mike will be giving them another good irrigating this month. Hopefully we will get much-needed rain soon. Please join us in praying for a wet fall and plenty of snow in the mountains this winter. Here is something to help you visualize what we need.

Our Water Source

Our Water Source

Categories: ag water, Agchat, farming | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Ever Done the Lizard Dance?

No, this is not a Native American ritual.  It is something California farmers do on occasion.  Here is the setting:

  • Must be outdoors (warm weather is usually best).
  • Must be involved in some farm chore like shoveling standpipes or stacking wood or hoeing weeds.
  • Must be wearing jeans or long pants and work boots.
Proper Attire for Lizard Dance

Proper Attire for Lizard Dance

Here are the steps:

  1. Cease chore immediately (drop shovel, wood, or hoe).
  2. Stand erect with a surprised expression on your face.
  3. Quickly bend over and grab pant leg (near the crotch).
  4. Work your hands down the leg and hold on for dear life.
  5. If possible, undo belt buckle with one hand and pull pants down.
  6. If not possible call for help from another person or hop to the house for help with step 5 from your nearest family member to escape embarrassment.
  7. Gingerly remove lizard from pants.
  8. Set said lizard free after laying it on its back and stroking its blue belly.
  9. Pull pants back on and buckle belt.
  10. Pick up shovel or hoe, etc.
  11. Return to farm chore.

This dance is only performed on rare occasion (thankfully) when conditions are just right.  Have you ever done the lizard dance or something similar?  Do share!

Categories: agblog, Education, humor on the farm, photos, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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