|It was raining again this morning and I just hung out while Carolyn did laundry. It finally started to clear up in late morning and by 1:00, the skies were partly cloudy with big fluffy clouds crawling across the sky. We need groceries, fuel and propane, so we headed into town. Carolyn had found a candy/nut store out in the country so we headed out trying to find it. We drove around for a little while before we pulled our phones out and looked up nut companies. We finally found the place, but they were just starting to stock the shelves with merchandise. Their chocolate machine broke down so they haven’t been able to start production. We did end up getting some Cinnamon Almonds. They pronounce almond without the L. We have heard 3 people say it like that while we have been here. We have been seeing fields of trees planted so we started stopping and looking at the trees trying to figure out what kind they were. We found English Walnut, Prune, Peach, Almond and Olive trees. We also saw blueberry bushes. We found out what most of them were by talking with an owner of the blueberry field. We were standing in his field when he walked down his lane to get his mail. It turns out he is one of the main growers in the area. He has 100 acres of blueberries and ships half of them to Japan and China, while the other half go to Costco. He grows prunes, but the sales are going down. He said the older generation is going away and the younger ones don’t eat them. He also grows almonds. He grows olives and buys most of the rest that are grown locally and says his company ships over $100 million worth of olives – he has an olive factory in town. This is a really bad year for them. A normal tree produces 20,000 olives each year and this year he said they only produced 200. The weather was the main cause. When we had checked into our campground, the owner said they also have some fruit nut trees that didn’t do well this year because of the spring rains coming at the wrong time. Now if you are like us, you are wondering what a fruit nut tree is. It is any tree that produces a fruit with a pit in it; peaches, apricots, nectarines, etc. It was kind of fascinating talking with the grower and finding out how some of it all works.
The afternoon turned out beautiful and we had a good time walking in the fields of trees. We found and ate almonds, walnuts, the prune plum, and peaches. Most everything except the walnuts and olives are harvested already. We found a few things still on the tree that had been missed when they picked them, but most of what we had came from what we picked up off the ground.
It was finally time to get groceries and head home to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We are heading out again tomorrow and are going to camp in a county campground. It is a first come first serve campground so we need to get up and get going to make sure we get a spot.