Broad Valley Orchard

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“It Ain’t Over ‘Til Its Over” – Saint Yogi

Hello to the Weather Weary,

Our weather has finally settled down, and dried out enough that we have a fair garden crop, and an acceptable fruit crop slowly growing now that the sun is coming out more.  The artesian spring in the lower garden, has subsided!  My back doesn’t ache as much!

But word comes from the “Inland Empire”, the lands around the Snake and the Clearwater Rivers, of lingering wet and cool March-like weather, and of still heavy snow packs on the Northern Rockies.  This is where our last 7 months of awful weather have come from, and that melting snow pack out West will keep the Missouri River flooding for another month, as it drains into the slowly subsiding Mississippi River.

The News Media are not talking about it much, but much of those flooded lands grow commodity grain and legume crops for livestock and for bio-fuels.  Get ready for some surprises at the grocery stores and the gas stations.  I can’t give you much hope about the price of gasoline, other than it is time to conserve fuel = bicycle, walk, car pool, use mass transit, and plan your shopping trips wisely.  As for food, well it is good that the Local Foods movement is spreading.

We were one of the first “organic” farms that began a CSA in Adams County and this area.  Now there are several other CSAs in county, and others who deliver to our area.  Some folks ask if we are feeling the ‘pressure’.  Nope, not a bit, see we have two things going for us.

First, we grow a variety of fruit; most new farms are growing mostly only vegetables.  Demand is so high for non-sprayed fruit (and the prices we get are ‘nice’) that we could never hope to fill it.  And that brings us to Second, we are getting older, and each year we shrink our gardens and orchards a bit.  Our CSA is now about 3/4 the size it used to be, as we slowly approach retirement.  We haven’t sold at a farmer’s market for 5 years.

But it is fun watching all these young farmers hustle; reminds me of me about 4 decades ago.  But I’ll tell you the truth, I have ‘been there – done that’, and actually enjoy genealogical and historical research and writing a lot more than I do bending over in a garden.  I have, though, discovered knee pads!

But I think I’ll always keep a small garden, and the nice thing about berry crops, and dwarf fruit trees, is you don’t have to bend over to pick them.     My back hurts!

Feelin’  Old Thom

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