walters family blog

Well, its just Walters' family stuff. That's about it, for that's its sole purpose.

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

Husband, dad, grandfather, brother, entrepreneur, artist, writer, publisher, ad guy, teacher, musician, and dreaming of being a farmer.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

California Road Trip

This week I had to be in S. California in three areas for meetings within three days. We had meetings in Mira Loma, San Luis Obispo (SLO), and Modesto and decided to drive, which was really the only option considering the lack of flight options from S. Cal to SLO. The drive up through Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo was really beautiful. Whats not to like about Santa Barbara and the California Pacific coastline.  However, what really amazed me was that when we left SLO it was 68 degrees, and less than an hour later it was 104 as we crested a mountain ridge headed to Hwy 101. The valley is gorgeous if you love agriculture. Gilroy is the garlic capital and it was being processed there in a plant that smelt up the entire town as if you were in a kitchen smelling garlic in a cast iron skillet simmering in oil. 

I've never seen so many almond trees. There has to be millions. Mikki read today that the 400 miles of central valley is home to 90% of the worlds almonds. The magnitude of growing food in California is beyond words. I'm not sure we can grasp what would happen to us if we lost this area to the lack of water, which is a huge issue right now. It is under a severe drought at this time and needs rain desparately (or so it appears). Maybe they like it bone dry, but it scared me a bit. The use of drip irrigation is amazingly efficient. Miles of pipe and drip and sprinklers. The growing technologies are incredible. But it seems there is no replacement for the migrant farm worker anytime soon.

Along the way we stopped at one of the many Missions along the El Camino Real... The following are a couple of iPhone photos I took at one stop in San Miguel. Nothing there now to speak of, but I bet at some point, this mission was a welcome sign to the travelers along this route. 

I'd recommend a drive through the central valley of California during growing season!

Along a backroad off the 101, Mikki got out to identify these trees. They were almonds. Millions! 

We took a specimen to show the grandkids, and ourselves how almonds grow. 

Mission entry, with Prickly Pear in bloom

Garden gate

Pink doors of the mission

I loved the sun-baked wood and hammered iron detail. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hot Summer and the Pool... and the Pests... and the Peaches!

Our farm peaches on Bluebell Homemade Vanilla

Freshly picked peaches

So we escape the heat for Southern California where it is always nice and cool. 

A guest. Not too friendly

Annie and Brodie

Caroline and Annie

Jack with his watermark of swimming a bit too long with tight goggles

Jack hard at swimming