...here at Randy Honcoop Farm.
And I have to admit that my "Why not be hopeful?" resolution just about went out the window when I heard it raining during the night...and again this morning.
Dismal...too much gray, in the skies, and on the bushes.
We decided to pick regardless of the weather. Picking wet bushes is its own challenge because all the things you want to sort out of the fruit stick to it, and the machine, and you. Yuk. Besides that, there is some risk that you are spreading the mold through the bushes as you pick them. However, that risk was less than leaving the already moldy fruit on the bush when we are a day behind on our picking rotation. Because we were rained out on Friday, we were picking each row after a 4 day wait, instead of the usual 3 day, not to mention that we had gotten more rain since.
The only decision was to go on and get picking. Fortunately, the rain stopped, and a good stiff breeze came up that helped keep the junk from sticking to everything. The kids had the flats looking quite good -- but when the mold test was run, we were just over the limit. The mold that is not as visible as the spot mold was putting us over the limit.
And so, it was time for Plan...well, let's say D...which was to switch out the flats for barrels and pick for juice. The problem with Plan D is that juice is worth much less, and right now, with rain during the heaviest picks, there are a lot of farmers picking for juice. When The Farmer went to get barrels from the receiving station, there weren't lots left. The juice market is soft right now...lots already in storage, not much interest in buying more. It could happen that it could get cut off -- and there goes our option of last resort.
All the more reason to keep picking, and pick our way out of barrels and back into flats...for the higher quality market. There continues to be a threat for showers tonight and tomorrow morning before the weather will improve. More rain tonight could make the difference this year between getting ahead or going behind...We'll know a lot more a few days from now.
How exciting and suspenseful!!!
And yes...you do detect a note of sarcasm...
But you just do the best you can do, and trust that what God chooses, He will take you through. A rainy, moldy harvest is minor compared to what so many people have to endure!
So tomorrow, we will pick on through the field, and see what new decisions and adventures find us...
In the meantime, I'm going to brainstorm ways to get a bunch of barrels before the hoarders do...