Monday, July 16, 2012

All systems are going...

We're in the swing of harvest now. Production and quality have improved and we are firmly entrenched in the routine...Get up and witness the fog with disappointment, then The Farmer heads out to check the machines, wash the engine compartments, fuel them, load them with flats. The crew arrives and we sit quietly, respecting that they are all trying to wake up. Then it's off to the field, and row after row after row of picking...lunchtime is a welcome break...sometimes full of laughing, sometimes full of quiet restfulness. Back out to row after row...along the way, The Farmer unloads, reloads, hauls the fruit to the processing plant. The crew's day ends with a short discussion, some laughing, a review of tomorrow's start time, and they head for home...except for the two who stay to wash the machines for the next hour. The Farmer brings in the last load, then back to the farm to check irrigation, equipment, condition of the field...prepare for the morrow...

Just to do it all over again...

It gets tedious; there's just no way around it. I am so thankful for a harvest crew that finds creative ways to entertain themselves during the long monotonous days...Screenplays, books, music have been created during harvest. Weird competitions are held. Serious discussions take place. Strange rituals evolve...and most days are not without their fun.

Oh, these are good kids to work so hard and keep on coming back!!

So for our piddlin' start, we are doing well now. The humid weather continues to add to the challenges of keeping the mold away. It's never going to be good when you start the season with mold in the field -- and that is true again this year.  The kids are working hard to get the fruit looking good...and we must keep going to keep the fruit from getting too soft and vulnerable to the mold.

But that's raspberry farming...and if you are waiting for things to be "right" before you enjoy the harvest,'ll never have a good time.

Off the farm, Jess is toiling his way through a State Senate campaign. Last Saturday was a big campaign event for his candidate: The Mercer Island Downtown Parade. Jess dubbed it his "Birthday Parade" as it was scheduled a couple of days after his 26th birthday. This inspired Caitlin to participate. She and Olive made the trek to the parade...dressed in campaign colors to support The Candidate, Steve Litzow.

Creative Caitlin pulled together a super-dog cape sporting the Litzow colors. They tied balloons to Olive's collar and she happily pulled her way through the entire parade, becoming known as "The Litzow Dog".  "Look at the Litzow Dog!" She was a hit! And the event was a successful campaign event with lots of Litzow supporters in the march, and orange balloons handed out everywhere. Jess breathed a sigh of relief, and was so pleased with the outcome.

And then he came home for the rest of the weekend...which is a treat for us, as he rarely has time for that anymore...We were so glad to see him -- and The Farmer saw it as cause for celebration to the point that HE LEFT THE FARM to go out for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

OH HEAVENLY DAYS!! It was quite marvelous.

It was a great weekend...And today, after a muggy, muggy morning, the sun has come out, and the breeze has come up to blow out the humidity -- and things are perkin' right along...

A great start to another routine week.


Tami said...

I love the super dog cape! And only Olive could pull off that fashion statement.
You are in the thick of it! Busy but fun, your description almost made me miss the berry patch days.
Yesterday I complained about the humidity and Sam laughed, loudly, in my face, then shook his head, read that the humidity was at 40% and laughed some more.
Sheesh! We just aren't used to it. And it's not good for the berries either!

Holly said...

Busy, busy at your house! Can't believe I'm saying this, but I kind of miss my kids working in the berries! It's a rite of passage! And I'm so thankful that they all had jobs as young teenagers! Thanks to you sweet farmers who hire them!!
Hoping you have a successful season!! See you in August!!!

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