A Note from Farmer Al: January 21, 2019
Another damp, dreary, gray January day here on the farm. It's muddy, so I can't even walk around to check things out. Wet weather has shut down all field work for the last week. No pruning. No brush mowing. No compost spreading. No compost construction. Everything is just on hold right now except for picking citrus. Fortunately, the citrus trees are right next to the packing shed so we can get to them easily. And the ground in the citrus orchard is a thick green carpet of grass (cover crop!) so men aren't stymied by mud.
Last Friday a funny thing happened to me out there in the lemons and oranges. We had a visitor named Ed Lavio who had come to help us solve a question of variety identification: four years ago I had planted a row of about 20 trees that were supposed to have been mostly kumquats.However, they were mostly just rootstock varieties - lots of fruit but definitely not good to eat. While standing there in the orchard talking to Ed, my phone rang. It was David Karp, (famously known as the "fruit detective") who called me to talk about (among other things) the new "strains" of Tarocco blood oranges that are now being tested at UC Riverside, which is ground zero for all things citrus here in California.
So at just that moment, actually standing out in my citrus orchard, I'm talking to two of California's most knowledgeable "citrus experts" at the same time, unbeknownst to either of them!