Thursday, September 07, 2006


In Hood River, Oregon the pears are on and the apples are up next. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a day in August picking pears while we were visiting my sister's family farm. We weren't much help, but it was really fun!

John, Abby, and Em

I saw some pears at Walmart on Monday, and I thought I wonder if we picked those? It is easy to forget that fruit does not just magically appear on the shelves at the grocery store.

So many boxes to fill

In Utah, the berries are ripe and ready to pick.


My mom and dad have a you-pick berry patch with rasberries, strawberries, and blackberries. While we were visiting, the rasberries were just delicious.


We picked 'em, and ate 'em, and made a batch of jam.

Gram and Em

This time of year reminds me of Almonds. When we were kids my parents had an almond orchard, and just as school was starting, the almonds were ready to be harvested.


We spread out two big blue tarps under a tree, then my dad would hit the tree with a big rubber mallet, and the almonds would fall down from the tree. When dad hit the trees the almonds would rain down onto the tarps, but when one of us kids would take a turn, just a couple would get knocked loose. The almonds would fall down along with lots of dust and a preying mantis or two.

When one tree was done, would dump the almonds from the tarps into a pile in the middle of the rows, rake up any missed nuts, and move on to the next tree. Tree after tree, row after row. We would sing and pick wild flowers and play with the neighbor's dog, Big Red.

I was a grouchy worker. Sorry dad. Looking back I can see that I was about Hannah's age, when everything was embarrassing and working was sooooooo hard. I remember driving the big red van down the rows. And once, my sister was riding on the bumper, and I stomped on the brakes and it made her crash and get hurt. Sorry Mary.

I also remember my dad laying under the water jug and letting the water poor out of the spout right into his mouth. He could swallow and let it fill his mouth at the same time. Very cool.

We spent a lot of Saturdays and afternoons out working in the almonds. It was hot and sweaty and dusty. And the preying mantises would fall from the trees and land in my hair. But if we were lucky we would get to eat the best hamburgers at a grimy little diner in Waterford, CA.

When harvest was over my parents would take us on a Harvest Festival trip. My favorite was the trip up to Yosimite riding bikes along the trails. We must have been quite a sight - 7 girls, and 2 parents all in a row on bikes - Look out!

We seem to have an agricultural theme in our family, but I am growing nothing but potato sprouts. Maybe I can have a garden in Hawaii.


muse said...

What a lovely time you must have had.

Mary said...

That brings back so many memories. Ah, Jimbos, the greasiest food around! I also remember doing a lot of complaining about almond harvest. I remember trying to look like I was asleep on the way to the orchard in the red and white van, hoping to get out of some work. Never worked. But I have great memories of us singing and just all being together, learning to work.

The best harvest memory I have is when mom, and I think it was Heather, and I were working together in a row and we were all probably grumpy and tired and so to cheer us up, mom told us she was pregnant again, expecting Erin!

For some reason, I have not grown a single thing since being on my own. You woudl think all the lessons in horticulture would make me a natural farmer or a gardener at least, but I have yet to dive into that. Maybe next summer...

texasblu said...

How WONDERFUL! My parents took to growing fig trees - we were just enjoying those when it came time to move out of state. SIGH

Katherine@Raising Five said...

I'm grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and all the fruit/berry picking brings back so many memories. I miss that!

Thanks for visiting me today - great to meet you!