Grower looks to donate tons of plums

July 23, 2013 6:52:41 AM PDT
A local farm is looking to give away about 10 tons of ripe picked plums and have people pick several acres of plums still on the tree. If people don't take the free fruit the farmers say it will all rot.

The Ubiquitous Farm is owned by a Fresno County couple that is brand new to farming. And they're running into problems because of that. The pair has not been able to find buyers. Now more than 10 tons of plums are in cold storage in hopes it won't turn to trash.

Candi Hood and Kristin Beasley have 17 acres of plum trees. And so far this season they've only sold an acre and a half of their crop. "We were actually expecting to make money off the plum crop and we're losing money," Hood said.

The couple says it's hard to watch several acres of plum trees with full ripe fruit hanging from the branches. And the ground is covered with already rotten plums.

"Because we're new farmers, because we're women farmers, because we're small farmers, it makes it really hard to get into the market because we don't have the connections," said Hood.

Several job losses forced Hood and Beasley out away from their advocacy work in Ohio two years ago and prompted a jump into the Ag world.

"We had one asset, it was the farm," Beasley said. "We decided that we were going to come back to the farm and do the work that we love in terms of advocacy. We were also going to transition the farm into an organic farm and really try to feed the community at the same time."

But 22,000 pounds of plums sitting in cold storage are proof the new mission is not an easy one. They hope the stack of boxes won't end up like the 12,000 pound stack that is already rotting in the heat.

"To have there be so much apathy about the food system is really fairly disappointing and heart wrenching," Beasley said. These farm owners say even giving away the fruit is nearly impossible since most non-profit groups won't pick up the donation and they don't have a truck to deliver the bulk drop off.

The women have to get the plums out of that cold storage by Tuesday. And they say anyone can go pick some up because they don't want any more to be wasted.

------

The Ubiquitous Farm
6626 S Reed Avenue
Reedley, CA
Click here for Website


Load Comments