Just about one year ago, in February 2017, Janice Person came to visit our farm. It was her very first visit to an avocado farm, and the Southern California was dressed up in green, with lots of wild flowers and gorgeous scenery due to all the wonderful rain. I was hobbling around on my bad knee, waiting for my meniscus surgery date. We had a great time together, but neither of us ever got around to writing about that day. We decided to share our experience with you this weekend, both at the same time, because once again it’s February in the avocado grove!
I met Janice at the Produce Marketing Association conference in 2012. I remember the year because I had just started blogging, and I was thrilled to have the chance to go to the largest fresh produce trade show in the world. The Idaho Potato Commission made it possible for 30 bloggers to have a press pass and attend the educational sessions as well as the trade show. That one opportunity led to so many other wonderful experiences, including my trip to Idaho for the potato harvest.
But back to Janice. She and I actually met on Twitter. We found each other because we’re both interested in all things agriculture. Janice blogs at JPLovesCotton.com and works in agriculture as well. We discovered via Twitter that we were both at the PMA conference, so we met up for an in-person chat! I told her if she ever had a chance to visit, just let me know. (Don’t you just love how social media can help us make new friends?)
Fast forward to 2017, and Janice made good on her promise to visit. It’s hard to imagine a person with more enthusiam for avocado trees! We walked through the trees, talking about how avocado grow and what kinds of challenges avocado farmers face. She has visited so many different kinds of farming operations, she knew all the right questions to ask.
We gave her a picking bag, a picking pole and some clippers and taught her how to harvest avocados. We discussed oil content and how that affects the ripening of avocados. We talked about the difference between maturity of the fruit on the tree, and the softening of avocados so they can be enjoyed in a meal. We even sat down for lunch to try some fresh avocado, and visited with The Farmer over lunch. Avocado with everything! Did I mention that Janice is one of the MOST enthusiastic avocado lovers I have ever met?
I saw Janice a few weeks ago at a meeting where we were talking about how to make videos for social media to tell true stories about agriculture. Today she sent me a blog post she wrote about last year’s visit. AND she made a really nice video too! Here’s a link to her post, so you can get HER side of the story! https://janiceperson.com/food/avocado-farm/
I’m so glad Janice came last year after all the wonderful rain. This year we are still hoping for more rain, but it’s beginning to look dismal. Usually our rain comes between December and March, leaching salts that have built up in the soil, germinating the wild flower seeds (or as some farmers call them: weeds), and giving the farmers a break from irrigating.
I’m still hoping that these pretty little blossoms will show up this year. (this photo was taken last year)
The baby avocado trees we planted a few months ago are already blooming, as are some of the more mature trees. The warm weather has them confused that it’s springtime already. The crop for 2018 is looking great, and we’ll be harvesting some delicious fruit this year. We’re already enjoying the Fuertes. Janice decided that Fuerte was her favorite variety when she was here. I agree with her, especially in February when they’re in season!