Tough year on the farm.

It is November 13, and usually by now I have sent emails out to our usual customers with instructions for pre-ordering shipped Satsuma mandarin boxes or bags of mandarins from our farm. This year, no one has received that email, and the phone calls are coming in. What is up with us here on the farm?

In October, our sister farm, Leisen’s Bridgeway Farms, was consumed by the fires in Santa Rosa. My sister Janet Leisen and her husband Corrie lost everything in the fires. The barn, the rental house, the home, most of the trees, the tractor, the walk in for storing produce, the vintage car, the irrigation equipment…everything. My niece, her husband and their two young children who lived nearby also lost their home and everything on their property. We have been preoccupied with helping them and other residents of Santa Rosa however we can. The time has flown by and our normal fall routine was interrupted.

The community in my home town of Santa Rosa, and my family, are in for a long process of rebuilding from the ashes. After the media has moved on to the next news cycle, they will still be struggling and will need all the help that they can get. If you feel concern and would like to help, cash donations are the most useful at this time. The infrastructure for donated item distribution has been overwhelmed so I have noticed first hand the inability of fire victims to be able to obtain, store and utilize donated items.

There is a go fund me account to support Leisen’s Bridgeway farms.

https://www.gofundme.com/leisenfamilyfirefund

There is also a general fund providing support to all the fire victims in the Northern California Fires.

https://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief

The other bad news is that with recent changes in weather last year and this year again, we have had extreme heat in the early spring.  As farmers we believe in man made climate change as we are personally seeing the effects. This heat has led to extensive “fruit drop” where our mandarins drop most of the baby fruit on the ground early in the season.

dried mandarins

Early season heat spells caused the small mandarin fruit to shrivel on the tree.

dried mandarins 3That fruit then dropped to the ground, causing significant loss of our crop for the year.

As a result, we have the smallest mandarin crop in years. We will not be taking orders online for shipped gift boxes at all this year.

We plan to sell mandarins in bags from our farm once we start harvest in a few weeks. We may have a few boxes available at that time to ship to our established customers but we expect to be limiting orders for shipped boxes to one per customer, shipped only to their own home address.

If you would like to be updated on the progression of the harvest, and supply, and to be notified when harvest begins, please send an email to us and we will put you on the email notification list.

Thank you for your support of our small farm.

Dayna Burgeson

 

 

 

 

 

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