Wow! It's Hot!
We’re hoping you all survived those atypical temperatures. We topped out here in Brentwood at 110 on Tuesday, July 2. But the “cooler” days, well, 105 doesn't feel all that much cooler than 110. At least not to me and certainly not to our trees.
Farmer Al and I thought some of you may be interested in the Long Term Effects of a Heat Wave like the Bay Area suffered last week, and is likely to be -subjected to again this summer. First, due to the extreme temperatures we send the crews home early which obviously impacts our ability to pick the fruit in a timely manner, creating a higher loss percentage than normal. The second effect is what impacts us the most and for the longest period of time. Due to the scorching temperatures, trees go into “survival” mode. This is to say, trees shut down in an effort to conserve their energy starting at about 96 degrees. They stop growing, which translates into suspension of sucrose production, and they can drop their leaves or they’ll “burn”. The burning results from the direct heat exposure to heat from the sun, resulting in trees shutting down. It’s the opposite of getting a frost bite. When trees don’t send energy to the tips of the leaves, they dehydrate and burn. This “shut down,” or what I like to refer to as the orchard’s “siesta,” means less sweet fruit, including the fruit that was close to being ripe when the heat hit, and the fruit that will ripen later in the summer. This has long term effects for our customers.
Here’s an idea for everyone, during the next heat wave when your thoughts turn to heading to the neighborhood pool or a lake nearby… order some extra Frog Hollow Farm fruit to take with you. Place it in a cooler with ice and a little extra water for transporting to your watery destination. There’s no better way to replenish fluids AND nutrients lost while in the sun on a hot day than biting into a chilled, juicy piece of fruit! It’s good for the body and soul!
- Sarah Coddington
Co-owner, Frog Hollow Farm.