Cody Lehman grew up near Burbank California where he worked for his family's construction company. He and Brittany Jackson got married in September of 2006 and Cody began working for his father-in-law Brent to learn the ropes of farming. This summer season will be his 7th season of growing fruit. I met with Cody to ask him a few questions at his home in Kingsburg about farming.
Q: Over the years what process or technologies do you think has been most helpful? Why?
A: The plant breeders have been the most helpful in the advancement of the fruit industry I’d say. They have...
Who kept the faith and fought the fight;
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
On May 23, Arlington will transform into waving rows of red, white and blue in preparation for Memorial Day. In the following days, thousands of flags and candles will grace the graves of those who have fallen in service of our country.
For many, Memorial Day has come to mean little more than a 3 day weekend. A...
The sweet smell of apricots tells us summer has arrived here in the central valley of California! These small golden fruits originated in China and were later introduced to Europe and Armenia. In 1720, the apricot tree made its way to Virginia but it wasn’t until 1792 that the tree became popular in North America. Apricots not only taste good, they are also packed with good nutrients! Some of the nutrients found in apricots include: vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and potassium, which can help protect your eyes and heart as well as your digestive system.
Apricots can be enjoyed...
Ryan Jackson is passionate about three main things: the Lord, his family, and farming. He grew up on and around the farm - learning the ropes from his dad was more like a part of normal day to day life than job training or working. From as young as five, he and his brothers would be given small tasks around the ranches such as pruning, suckering the trees, talking with field workers to learn Spanish, and driving tractor. They also held jobs in the packing sheds to learn the ins and outs of how all the equipment works, how much labor goes into sorting a good box of fruit, and how the two...
We're only a few weeks out from starting the 2013 stone fruit season, and we couldn't be more excited! Here is a slideshow of how the fruit is looking so far!
Spring is a busy time of year in the orchards.
Our packing facilities and cold storages are undergoing a thorough deep cleaning before we begin the new season - repairing and sanitizing the machinery, cleaning all the storage totes, and other general maintenance.
And in the fields things are picking up rather quickly. The buds on the trees are all bursting open, with swarms of bees released among the trees to pollinate the blossoms. Leaf nodes begin to unfurl along the branches and everything seems to be waking up again. There’s grafting, spring planting, bloom...
Brody Wilgenburg married Janelle Jackson in May of 2007. Brody grew up on a dairy in Hanford and attended Central Valley Christian High School. He then continued on to Cal Poly San Luis and graduated with a degree in Engineering. He and Janelle have three children, Jace, Bailey, and Brooklyn. I asked Brody a few questions about his start in farming stone fruit and this is what he said:
Q: When did you start working at Kingsburg Orchards/start farming?
A: In January of 2007 I started working for Brent, my father in-law, and I started farming on my own in 2010.
Written by Heidi Jackson
It’s another summer morning and I’m awoken to the sound of the old rooster crowing right by my bedroom window - sometimes I thought my dad put food up on the tree by my window or trained him to go up there; whatever the case was, that old rooster never failed to wake me up in the summer. I give up on sleeping in longer. As always, the bird wins. I’m dressed and ready for the day, eating my breakfast in the kitchen, when my dad comes in and asks me if I want to ride around with him that day at work. Going to work with daddy meant you were sure to get all...
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important of Chinese holidays, as it welcomes Spring in the lunisolar calendar. It is celebrated officially in over 9 countries, as well as unofficially in Chinatowns around the world. It begins on the first day of the lunisolar calender - this year, February 10th - and ends on the 15th day (Feb 24th) with the Lantern Festival. In Malaysia and Singapore, the 15th day is also viewed as a variation of Valentines Day called Chap Goh Mei. Single women write their number on a mandarin and toss it into a river or lake, and the single men collect them....
Each year, we partner with Military commissaries in various reaches of the globe for our annual "Dinolicious" display contest. We receive many outstanding entries and would like to share their creativity and passion with you here. This slideshow is a collection of entries from 2009-2012 that we displayed at the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit 2012 in Anaheim, California. We hope you enjoy these as much as we have!
The thick, misty grey Tulle fog has settled in over the Valley and will be coming and going until March. The leaves have all dropped from the trees, leaving limbs exposed and bare – rather eerily poking through the fog blanket. It may appear like the orchards have been left for dead, but in reality, they are getting a much-needed rest during their dormancy. In fact, each variety needs a certain number of chill hours to reach its maximum potential in the coming season. A chill hour is when the weather goes below 45˚F for a full hour. Chill hours are also important to know in the...
When did you start working at Kingsburg Orchards?
I began working at Kingsburg Orchards when I was very young. I don’t really remember the exact time in my life, but my dad would get me out there and show me the ropes.
Over the years, what process or technology do you think has been most helpful? Why?
I don’t quite know what has been most helpful because each different thing is so helpful in making things run smoothly that if you took out one thing it would slow the rest of the process down dramatically. Like it says in 1...
THE PEST: Field Mice, Gophers, and Baby Rabbits
Field mice, gophers, and rabbits present a serious threat to orchard health. Mice feed on the bark at the...
I wrote this back in 2009 and as we get into the holiday spirit full swing around here, I thought I'd reach back into the archives and share it with you:
It’s the week before Christmas here at Kingsburg Orchards,
And not a single employee feels like they’ve been tortured.
From the salesmen to shipping to our filing clerks,
We’re enjoying the season and all of its perks.
The trees are all nestled within the fog bed,
While visions of Dino Eggs dance in Mike J’s head.
Their branches are storing the...
Health goes beyond just what you put into your body - and even though studies have shown the cancer-fighting properties of stone fruit (we love antioxidants!), we figure if our fruit is fighting cancer, then so should we. Many of our team already support Breast Cancer awareness in October, but our salesman, Jose Herrera, brought this campaign to the attention of those of us in the office, and we've started up a team. Start up a team of your own, or if you'd like to support our staff's efforts, our page is located here: ...
If you drive past our orchards, you will find that many of our trees are growing in a 'V' shape. There are many reasons for this, including increased sunlight into the center of the tree, which leads to improved and more even crop production, better flavor because of the extra nutrients this sunlight provides and various other factors. This style of trellis was developed in Australia and is called the Tatura Trellis System. Our grower, Brent, explains more:
Thanksgiving: The development of an attitude of gratitude for what you have been given
For those of you who follow us on Twitter, you may have seen our November 1st post, but if not I'll quote it here: "Start the month off right: make a list of 5 things you are thankful for today. Add 1 thing each day until Thanksgiving. Share your list."
In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it is often too easy to forget how blessed we are each and every day. At times, we are awakened to the reality of how much we had by tragic events such as Superstorm Sandy, a loss of a loved one,...