What a crazy month it has been...
As everyone local knows searingly well, and many of our distant farm friends have probably heard, an extreme lightning event in mid-August set off some of the worst local fires Santa Cruz county has seen in recent history. Seventy two thousand local humans were evacuated, with their livestock and pets too. We temporarily took in family, friends and lots and lots of animals. Ricky, the emu, really won my heart.
We were very lucky and never had to evacuate nor fear fire at our doorstep, yet so many of my friends and neighbors had to flee for safety, with only what fit in their cars, and some of them now have no home to return to. My whole county is traumatized, yet at the same time, I saw more acts of pure courage, kindness and community than my jaded soul thought possible. People were, and can be, amazing.
Now, 3 weeks later, most animals and humans have gone home, the smoke is slowly subsiding and I am left with a few hard truths: always have a plan and preferably a few alternate plans, know who your friends are, and whenever you can, however you can, help those that need it, not only when climate change is burning at the doorstep. If we can feed and house 25% of the county population in an emergency, I believe we can feed and house everyone, all the time.
But the Fruit Never Stops ...
Despite the heat, our orchard continues to ripen with waves of deliciousness. Stone fruit season has tragically ended, I always shed a dramatic tear for the last tree ripened peach, but the heirloom apples and pears are flushing to perfection and filling our cold storage to the brim.
So far we have harvest a bumper crop of Ashmeands Kernel apples, Cox Orange Red apples, Roxbury Russet apples, Jonagold apples, Aromatanaya quince, Kieffer pears and Magness pears.
Chthulhu Rides the Giant Dipper
I dug up an old favorite illustration last week, of a fantasy cephalopod riding the iconic roller coaster of the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Some folks asked for t-shirts, and I aim to please!