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Saturday 3/28/20

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 11 sequestered at home. I took a break from news updates most of today after catching some while waiting for local weather report. We have 27 cases, no deaths & around 432 have been tested in my county. It is far worse in SF Bay Area north of me, & LA to the south is getting worse too. So many people, it could be like NYC. That's always the case where population density is a factor such as any health crisis. The rain is holding off until tomorrow so I got in another good walk this afternoon. Am seeing my neighbors staying at home tho many are essential service workers, a few medical & most are in ag. This area is the "salad bowl of north America" as we grow 12 months of the year. Right now other than artichokes (those plants are in ground already) it's planting time. Broccoli is year-round; iceberg, bibb, green & red lettuces, scallions, cauliflower, asparagus, endive, mache, strawberries. Carrots & parsnips are further down the valley & bell peppers, daikon & summer squashes are inland next to nut & date orchards. The citrus is down south as are the avocados & tomatoes. Some vegetables are grown from seed, (there are major seed producers here) but many crops are started in the fields as transplants. When it's wet & tractors would get stuck, that labor is still done by hand. Very hard work it is too but next week if it dries out some, then the equipment can get in & place multiple rows at once. One county up, they also grow ornamental plants & roses. Here we used to grow carnations & other flowers near me but competition from south America changed that. Sugar beets are no longer produced close by either. Wine grapes took over many acres & the hothouses now contain cannabis. Having lived on a farm in the midwest, I am glad I got the chance to live here & also work in the produce industry for a number of years. It is so different from what I knew as a child yet I can really appreciate the effort that goes into bringing food forth from the earth. One of my nieces is really into organic farming. She gets it naturally from her grandpa - I guess it skipped a generation cuz I have no inclination at all. I do however admire those who toil to make it possible for me to get my food by a simple trip to the market, or when a friend or neighbor drops something off. Like we've lately been reminded, we're all in this together, spinning on this crazy planet. Eat your veggies & stay well.
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