…as well as one FOR the books! Though we didn’t set a record for earliest start this year, we did set one for earliest finish. We were all done on July 21…three days earlier than our previous record of July 24, 1992.
When Weatherman Rufus said this year would be like 1992, he was right on!
It’s always a relief to be done with harvest, and this year, especially so. We were so thankful for the easing of the heat wave, and the cooler days that helped the crew maintain their strength. And also, for the reduction of stress on the raspberry bushes.
Still, we ended up with a lot of this:
We weren’t able to fill all of our orders this year. I suspect that there are others who had the same problem. This leaves the market open to be filled by other countries and suppliers, especially those whose summer is opposite of ours. (Chile) We don’t like to lose our market share because next year, in our perennially optimistic view, we will need it all back.
Anyway, we did the best we could, and picked and packed until we knew we would be risking an incomplete order if we did any more. We ship in truckload lots, each of which is 39,000+ pounds. Ten thousand pounds doesn’t do you much good as it creates a shipping problem, and extra cost for the buyer. So my sister Erin, who runs the processing plant, is on top of the numbers and is careful to avoid starting something we can’t finish.
Our last day of packing was Thursday. Then we picked into barrels for juice product for 4 more days, enjoying a day off on Sunday. The kids had to persevere through one more hot, hot day on Saturday. Then it was downhill Monday and Tuesday to the finish.
Though it was a tough season with poor yield and difficult conditions, and a little bit of drama in the personnel department, we are still thankful for many things.
n A crew who came back every day ;) and worked hard in difficult conditions.
n God provided subs when we needed them.
n Despite the heat, we had great quality every day of harvest time. The flats were full of pretty fruit.
n The price, instead of being down as expected, was up from last year, and very good. This mitigates the cost of the lost production, and we are thankful.
n Only a couple of minor repairs were needed during harvest.
n Though the weather was hot, it was predictable, and we could get into a routine. No day by day decisions about when, how, what to pick. Steady as she goes…
n Someone invented Otter Pops, and they are cheap and plentiful!
The Not Hot Tub didn't hurt either.
Indeed, I could list many more things…but I will add just this: We’ve made it through another one, and now we can take some deep breaths, settle into a less frenetic pace, and still have a bunch of summer ahead of us to enjoy.
This is a rarity! And I intend to make the most of it…though I know The Farmer is looking at it in terms of all the extra farming he can get done.
It always takes him about 3 weeks to feel okay about not working sun-up to sundown…This year, even if I allow for adjustment time, it will still be summer when he is free before dark!
I’m excited about that, and I’m going to make some plans…but first, I’m going to sleep in for a while, and not hurry in any way.