This is Harvest~ August 23, 2012

By August 23, 2012 Farm News

I believe that the best way to understand any type of agriculture is to live through an entire harvest season–lambing season or haying season or any agriculture season–all of it.  Not visit, or stop by for the afternoon, I mean live harvest for a season. Harvest for us is the intense, chaotic, frustrating, and sleepless time where we make our annual income in the period of three months.  Harvest is it’s own life force.  Harvest takes what you know to be your regular life, strips it away and leaves you with a hollow-eyed husband and millions of pounds of great tasting fruit in your coolers.  Or kitchens.  Or driveway, when the coolers and kitchens are brimming.
Take this week:  Harvest has been underway now for a good month.  The next couple of weeks however,  the peaches, plums, apples, pears ripen at the same time.  We had two weeks of busier than normal activity around here and were hoping (ha!) that things might back down a notch.  Then we had the unexpected visitor en route from the Telluride Mushroom Festival who needed a place to stay for a couple of nights.  Then we spilled a pallet of wholesale # 1 peaches (the cream of the crop) onto the ground and lost those boxes of fruit.  Yesterday the fork lift started behaving badly by overheating, which is not really something you’d sign of for when you’re moving thousands of pounds of fruit everyday. We have pallets of peaches going out on delivery trucks, customers coming by to purchase fruit, and a dog who jumps on everyone. We sent out a good number of peach gifts packs at the beginning of the week, which is great…but I missed the UPS delivery truck and ended up driving them 45 miles round trip to the nearest UPS store.  I could go on, but this is just a glance into the “romantic world of farming” as a friend tells me.
Now this is the lovely part of harvest: Peaches…more than we can eat, everywhere. Motivated staff who work as hard as we do, knowing that this is the time of year where everyone buckles down and puts their nose to the grindstone, as my Dad would say. Lovely, is sending my kids off on a bike ride through the orchard and them returning with a plum in their mouth, a peach in their hand, and an apple in their pocket.  Lovely, is Steve returning home from weekend markets with goodies from other growers with whom he trades.  Lovely, is November when we can look at the bounty of our harvest. And everything is quiet.

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