Life in Washington - Summer 2006

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Summer 2006:  On June 18th we began cherry harvest.  For the next 11 weeks it was one fruit after another.  The cherries gave way to apricots which transitioned into plums which moved us on to the peaches and nectarines.  We had an amazing summer with the biggest harvest this valley has seen in years and exceptional prices due to weather issues in California.  By the end of the summer we had packed 10,920 boxes of fruit, which is 223,104 pounds!  We picked, sorted, packed and sold almost 2,800 boxes more than the previous year (with the same size staff!), or 34% more, which translated into a 54% increase in sales dollars due to favorable pricing and a product with high demand and low supply.  Although it was an enormous harvest for Washington state, the amount of organic fruit available was not able to keep up with the increased demand. 

During the first 2 weeks of August we were so insanely busy we didn't know if we were coming or going.  But!  We made it.  A couple of glitches here and there, but nothing major.  On Labor Day we shipped out our last boxes of fruit and prepared to shutdown the cold rooms for the season.

Did the new label design help?  ABSOLUTELY!  We gained so much efficiency with the new labels and advance box making!  We would have never made it through the crunch time without the changes.

Over the summer we did have a couple of visitors.  Jimmie's sister and brother-in-law, Judy & Steve, stopped by for a couple of days on their way to a caving convention.  Also, friends of Connie - Charlie & Carol - stopped by for a brief visit.

Connie & Ron are busy getting labeled boxes ready for harvest.
Connie, Dave, Jimmie (on the left)
Juan, Roberto, Carlos (on the right)
running the cherry line.

Becca packing cherries and getting them ready for the state inspectors.

Jimmie hauling a truck load of cherries to be delivered to our customer in Portland, OR.

Rival apricots almost ready to pick.

Pluots - picked and ready for packing.

Jimmie packing pluots.

Millie hanging with her dad.

Connie packing pluots.

Dave loading the truck for delivery.


Becca packing nectarines....  one by one....

Nectarines ready to pick