Sunday, September 25, 2016

June 27 - Lots of Help

Some very good friends came out to get some cherries today, they have 7 kids, and immediately 6 of them wanted to help me on the tractor. We had a blast, and I don't believe I have ever loaded the semi so fast! I had all I could do to keep caught up and take pictures at the same time.

June Cherry Harvest

One of Janessa's many job descriptions for the orchard is photographer. She takes all manner of pictures of the fruit on the tree, harvesting, fruit in the trailer getting ready to ship and some pictures of our life and certain projects that are going on. She has an amazing eye for a good picture. I have gathered a few from cherry harvest for your pleasure. Please enjoy!

The cherries have to get cool as soon as possible, so we lay them across the floor of the semi 6 or 7 in a row, by the next morning they are down to 32 degrees. Let me tell you a freezing cold cherry on a hot day is one of the best treats you can have!

The fun, challenging part of the harvest is keeping count of each one of these totes, it took me a week or so before my count was right every single day :D
After the cherries are cool, we stack them into these bins. Each bin can hold 30 totes of cherries.

My all time favorite cherries are the Rainier, I ate way too many. There was about 3 times more Rainier cherries than any other variety.

This plant is one of our worst enemies in the orchard, Poison Ivy/oak (depending on who you talk to).

During cherry harvest, there are literally millions of wild daisies blooming all over the orchard!

Dad getting ready to prime the pump.

Garrett and his big puppy, they sure do love each other!

Here are some of the earliest apples.

A mixed load of cherries.
Garrett, Gabe, and I spent the morning cleaning up the mess we made on the day before, then moved on to making another one.

Garrett is doing his "weight lifting", he has 40lbs in each hand, it's surprising how fast this trick becomes the easiest method of carrying the totes.

Our fork lift died the first week of cherry harvest, so we had to do a little bit of double stacking by hand. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

June 15 - First day of Picking Cherries and all the Adventures there in

Today we got to start picking cherries!! We were so excited it finally have cherries, in November of 2014 there was a huge cold snap in this area while the trees were still running sap. So 2015 cherry year, to say the least, was bad. This year was wonderful! Our pastor and his wife came out to pick with us. We found out that we were really slow, but we had a blast. Shea, a couple of weeks ago, had bought a pair of drywall stilts to use for picking. He has gotten really good on them.

At the end of the day, Shea was walking through our shop to get a tape measure to see how tall he actually was on the stilts, when he tripped on a root, He fell and broke his wrist. Other than that he was totally fine, Praise God. His wrist has healed up fine, and he was back to normal as soon as his cast was taken off.

Still had quite a bit of his usual humor in the ER

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

June 12 - Family Trip to Dufer

When we lived in Texas a hour drive seemed like a lot, but living out here driving for 3 hours or more isn't that big of a deal. One town we visit at least once a month during the winter and a couple times a week is Dufer, the home of Azure Standard. About a 4 hour drive from us...if dad drives. Today there was a equipment auction going on, and when running any farm operation, an auction is a wonderful thing to go to. It went well, and we ended up with a nice box blade that we really needed. 
 Because the semi needed some work done on it, dad brought back a car from one of the family members as a loaner car, so before we returned it we ran it through the car wash, Gabe loved it!! I wish I have a better picture of his face, but he was so excited and focused that he wouldn't look at me.
 One of the funnest things about the Azure headquarters is the tropical fruit, experimental green house. It is so fun to watch these fruits grow that we have never even seen. The highlight is the 2 huge banana trees, that will produce fruit.