Detective Dan and the Citrus Freeze January 22, 2007

Share this post

You've probably heard a great deal this week about the citrus freeze that attacked California just like Mr. Cold-Miser laid it down over South Town in a fit of stop-animation history. With all the media coverage, we thought we'd investigate for ourselves about damage to our family farm growers. Dan traveled to Ojai to visit Lakeview Farms to get the story.
Mike Shore, who supplies our clementines and who I wrote about last week, met Dan in his 18-acre citrus grove. During the 36 coldest hours of the freeze, Mike's extended family rallied around the farm, driving from all over California to get to Ojai and help keep the orchard warm. Mike and his family set small bonfires between the trees - tearing down twigs and even old bee hives to find enough wood to keep the flames burning. The fires were set no more than 20 feet apart on all rows of the orchard. Mike then turned on both of his two turbine fans to keep the fire-warmed air circulating around his grove. The cold settled at night into the lowest portions of their valley. The family raced throughout the orchard tending to the fires. When Dan asked him how he did it, Mike's response was stoic and pragmatic: "It's our family farm; we just do what we have to do."
Mike drove Dan around the property in one of his small and dusty Suzuki 4-wheel Samurais. Mike's trees are planted so closely together on the terraced hill that the family hooks a trailer behind the vehicle and picks mercots and clementines while driving under the branches. Dan noted that it was like being on a donkey riding a ridge on the Grand Canyon. Dan and Mike drove up the hill inspecting the crop to be picked for The FruitGuys next week. Mike slowed the vehicle as it passed narrowly between the intertwined branches of his trees. A mercot branch snapped in through the window. Mike reached up, plucked the fruit, peeled and tried a wedge. He smiled and turned to Dan. "These are gonna be fine."
Enjoy and be fruitful!

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent The FruitLife articles:

Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
A tribute to the “Lemon Lady” of Redwood City
March 11, 2019
The FruitGuys New Year’s poem
January 8, 2019
Sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship
October 31, 2018
Give the delicious gift of farm-fresh fruit and healthy snacks
October 4, 2018
Summer to fall transition brings new fruit into the rotation
October 2, 2018
Bring some fruitful fun to your workplace on Tuesday, October 2
September 27, 2018
Farmer suicide is a public health threat and could hurt our food supply
August 14, 2018
How to keep your favorite fruit fresh through the summer heat
July 19, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Food:
History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019
Food:
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.