Friday, June 28, 2013

The Good, Bad and Real Ugly This Week on the Farm

The Good this week is everything in our gardens are growing so well.  The flowers beds are blooming their hearts out.  The watermelon grow bigger each day.  And some of our relatives came to stay with us a few days to get the old fashioned farm experience. They helped pick apricots, cut them and they are being dried in the sun. The Carli side of the family all had orchards and farms during the late 1930s-late 1960s. .

  Unfortunately, the farms were in what is called Silicon Valley where industry took over the most fabulous farms as the soil was one of the best in all of California.  One side of the family grew apricot trees in Los Altos and every summer, the whole family would go there to cut cots.  All ages of kids to adults would stand in the apricot shed and cut/pit the cots.  So that is what we did for 2 days, pick and cut but our cots were all so small.  We had to pick them early because of the rain storm that was coming in so fast.  We had such a great time visiting and reminiscing about the "old times" in Los Altos, Saratoga, Cupertino.  In fact, our original family members were friends with the Mariani Nut family and the Mariani Dried Fruit family. They were a very big family run drying and packing company right at the corner of Stevens Creek and Hwy 9. Unfortunate for that family too, Apple decided to open up their company about 2 blocks away and the family sold out and moved to Winters and to Gridley. They still do their farming business but are now run by the great-grandson's of the original owners
The Good/Bad business this week was the rain.  Of course, everyone was looking forward to it, but for farming, it has other consequences this late in the season.  Grapes will split and mildew.  The fruit that has started to ripen will split because of the wet.  We lost almost 1/2 of our apricots due to the rain, the split leads to rot so there are hundreds of beautiful not yet mature apricots on the ground.  Even some of the nectarines have some rot going on.

The Bad and Ugliest part of this week.  We lost so many of our trees because of the rain and heavy with fruit.  One of my very favorite trees, the large pluot tree actually split 3 ways right down the middle.  The pluots were large and not quite ripe and the tree will have to be removed.  After driving around and looking at all the trees, we lost a large limb on each of the nectarines; lost a huge limb of apricots; and we lost 3 of our large peach trees.  Each lost one of their biggest limbs.  We will try and pamper the rest of the limbs in an effort to let the rest of the peaches and other fruit get ripe.  But at the end of the season, many will have to go and it will be many years before we will enjoy the fruit again.  It just makes me sick to my stomach to see the limbs down but what can you do?  Nothing but go on.
The ugliest of ugly news.  A visiting relative's dog killed one of my chicks (which is about a month old now).  He was so proud of himself, he brought it right up to Frank in his mouth.  It was such a shock and happened so fast, we didn't have time to anticipate a city dog being around in the country.  I hate to see animals hurt and these cute little guys had gotten so tame with my feeding them, they didn't understand.  Again, nothing you can do but just go on.

  I have scheduled a new class--Making market bags using re-cycled feed sacks.  Class is July 10th, 6-8pm. $20.  Even if you don't know how to sew, I will teach you, you pick your own bag from my assortment of bags; you receive the instruction; printed materials; refreshments and go home with a completed bag.  Space is limited so if you are interested in taking the class, email or call me to register.
Hopefully, next week will have more "Goods" than the "Uglies".

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