A Change in the Weather

Monday, October 4, 2010.
Wow! What a difference a week makes. Last Monday the southland suffered record hot temperatures. Downtown Los Angeles reached an all-time high of 113° F. It wasn’t so hot up here in the high desert but all over the L.A. basin, the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys and even in Orange County there were also record high temps. Power outages because of blown transformers were widespread.
Now we have real fall weather and somewhat earlier than usual. The predicted high today up here is 69° and the overnight low 46° and that is pretty chilly. The plants in my garden are confused. I was out early and readied some planters for cool season crops; lettuce, radishes, greens and will also plan some garlic and shallots for harvesting next year.
Unlike the coastal regions of southern California, we do get “seasons” here but usually there is a gradual shift. This change was as if one door was slammed shut and another was thrown open.
I don’t have an apple tree but there are orchards near here where apples are a very good crop and the mid-to-late maturing fruit should now be ready for market. Some of the orchards sell direct and I want to get some of the rarer varieties that are never seen in supermarkets.
Another local crop is pears, thus the town of “Pearblossom” and the roadside stands there usually have some very nice, newly picked offerings, including some varieties not seen in most stores.
As soon as the leaves fall, I will have my apricot tree pruned. It tends to send a lot of new growth straight up and those limbs get so tall that the fruit can’t be picked. It’s a bonus for the birds but not for me. It’s an heirloom variety that produces very large fruit, very sweet and not one that could be commercial because the fruit is too delicate to ship, unless picked very green and then the optimum flavor is lost.

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