An abundance of love,,, family farm that is..
My beloved Aunt and Uncle were 2nd generation farmers in Biola (West end of Fresno), California... now both are gone but are still wonderful memories in our hearts...
Now my cousin Stephen, 4th Gen., carries on the family farm.. and has made it grow well in these hard pressed days of farming.
Stephen has expanded the farm from not just raisin grapes, but to Almond trees and now he has added Pistashio trees as well...buying old farm land when possible.
He also added drip irrigation (trees) and other new methods of modern farming to be respectful to the soil and fruit.
Tomorrow harvest starts,,, the grapes will be picked from the vines,,, laid out on sheets of brown paper, called 'trays'.. allowed to dry and then the sheets are rolled and flipped so the other side of the grapes can dry in the heat of the sun.
An unexpected rain could destroy a crop drying on the ground,, causing mildew on the raisins....
Trust me,, I earned these bunches... as a teen my friend Karen and I had to follow behind the pickers to gleen,, making sure no bunches were left on the vines.... and yes it was a dirty job and the 'Yellow jackets' were relentless! but the pay-off back then was we could go swimming in the irrigation canal when we were done.
All wonderful memories,,,,, and the grapes still taste as sweet as they did when I was a teen.