Sunday, December 11, 2011
http://rav4adventures.blogspot.com) last week, but then I realize I'd written nothing about it on this one. So, here goes. Our valley had several nights of hard frosts this week. Now, with a 365 day growing season, the large growers rotate their crops from summer crops to winter crops such as broccoli, lettuce, green onions, artichokes, and peppers. On my way to school for several mornings, I saw smoke on the horizon down by my school where I teach, in Coachella. Finally, on Thursday morning, I took my camera with me to investigate. I have to be extremely careful driving out by these fields as a young woman from Indio was found dead in one of them last spring and her death remains unsolved. So, I don't get out of my car. I just point and use my telefoto lens. Anyway, the smoke that morning was horrible. It got all over me, my clothes, my car, my hair! I must have smelled awful to the kids at school! I noticed that at the end of the pepper rows, something was burning. The last time our valley had a hard frost (about two years ago), the growers brought in bales of hay and set them on fire, attempting to save their crop. This time, however, it didn't work. The ENTIRE pepper crop (red, yellow, and green peppers) was lost. They froze and turned to mush inside. This worker was out trying to keep the fires going and several trucks were driving by to make sure they were burning. It was very busy out there. I also took my camera on Friday and that's when I noticed that the table grape vineyards had been trimmed. It wasn't freezing Friday morning, but there was still smoke way back in the fields and I wasn't about to drive down unmarked dirt roads to try to get a photo! I did take a few, but they were mostly of the artichokes growing in the fields. We are supposed to get rain here Monday and Tuesday this coming week. It's sad to see an entire crop lost to nature, but that's how it is. I remember the year my sister-in-law lost her entire vineyard of Merlot grapes to a hard frost. It took the vines several years to recover and she lost her income for several years. Anyway, here are some photos from last week.