Friday, February 01, 2008

Pear Tree Mystery Solved

Those of you that travel through Mendocino County on occasion may have wondered, as we did, what happened with that pear orchard that used to be on the east side of 101 in Ukiah. All of the trees were pulled up some time ago and piled on a lot on the west side of 101.

I was thinking it was either disease, or, maybe the owner sold out to development. Turns out it was neither, as the Ukiah Daily Journal reports. The pears fell victim to regular old farm economics: He couldn't make enough money selling them to meet his expenses.

I guess the good news is that he's going to try growing alfalfa in the old orchard and not corn.


At 10:20 AM, Blogger samoasoftball said...

"Pear here, gone tomorrow."

At 10:32 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Is the Real Goods place in Hopland selling carbon credits yet?

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fruitwood makes some mighty fine firewood.....

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Lake County pear orchards have been replaced in recent decades by wine grapes. The reason? Not global warming! Supply-and-demand.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, wondering how you are making the distinction between corn and alfalfa as crops?

Thanks, and Ukiah is another spot on the memory trail. Not long before you get then to the Gallo vineyards, yes?

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Distinction between corn and alfalfa? Because of the corn based ethanol thing. More and more corn is being diverted to ethanol use, making less corn available for food. The cost of many things are going up as a result, since both meat and non- meat foods rely on corn.

Farmers are also replacing other crops with corn now, since it brings a high price. So, to add insult to injury, not only has the high price of corn raised prices on all kinds of stuff, lesser amounts of other crops are being grown.

Because corn requires a lot of water, the increase in corn acreage strains water resources. Not only that, but something not often brought up about corn is it is not an environmentally friendly crop. Aside from using lots of water, it's a heavy feeder, taking lots of nutrients from the soil so it requires lots of fertilizer.

Alfalfa, I believe, is a legume. Legumes actually add nitrogen to the soil and are useful in building up the soil. Better alfalfa than corn, at least as long as we're beating ourselves over the head with this corn based ethanol thing.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks - had kind of thought your ideas might be along those lines.

It's a good point about the alfalfa, and yes, it does appear to be a legume.

I kind of agree about the rush to ethanol-generating plants. It definitely seems to be a mixed bag, even as far as solving any real environmental problems. Agriculture is a powerful lobby, anywhere in the world, though.

Let's hope it's a step in a righter direction, then.

On corn, memories of good Pepperwood ears. They still grow it there? Is there still a Pepperwood, or has the Eel flooded finally too many times?

I still remember the stake beside the road, seeming 10 ft or so above grade for the top level. Looking across the actual valley of the trickle summer has, at this level, that is enormous amounts of water, truly.

Humboldt was seldom tame...

With regards, Fred


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