I’m sitting here on a still evening. It’s the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. A big, full “Strawberry moon” rising in the hazy eastern sky. A warm quiet night awaits. And yet I’m thinking about what insects are developing in this heat, how much water to put on the trees with irrigation, and what the chances for rain are this week. Why? Because the weather, past present and future is such a big part of everyday life to a farmer.
There are many variables that a tree fruit grower has to deal with every day. Varieties and root stocks, diseases and fertilizers, insects and pruning and the list goes on and on. Over the years growers and researchers cooperate to find the best ways to deal with the challenges we face and standardize our growing systems and practices. We share information with growers around the world, and they do the same. And it makes us all better at what we do. But the one wild card that we have no control over is the weather.
That is probably a good thing. If you talk to 5 farmers growing 5 different crops you will hear that it is too dry, too wet, too hot, too cold, and probably too …fill in the blank! And the funny thing is, they are probably all right! Every crop has different needs. An inch of rain would be great right now for the apples pears, and peaches. But sweet cherries, that are about a week away from being ready, would be in great danger of cracking as they absorbed water faster than their skins could expand. Talk about internal conflict! That same inch of rain would be a welcome relief to a corn or soybean grower. But a wheat farmer wouldn’t be too happy with it as harvest begins. What to do?
So I guess it is a good thing that we don’t control the weather. We just learn to deal with whatever comes our way and trust that God will give us what we need. That is really all we can ask for in life anyway. And that is also a good thing to think about on a warm summer evening.
Have a fruitful week!