The Land Of Fruits And Nuts

Saturday and this post is about California’s “fruits and nuts”……No!  Really!  So get your mind out of the gutter……..I don’t know what you were thinking.

First the “Fruits”……

Recently I have written several posts about avocados…they have been in the news a lot….well they are a bit more…..especially in California…..

Things aren’t so easy for avocado growers in California these days. There’s more competition from Mexico and less water. And the old trees just don’t bear fruit like they used to. But the New York Times reports that’s giving rise to a surprising new California crop: coffee. The dense foliage of old avocado trees provides perfect shade for coffee bushes, and suddenly two-dozen avocado farms between San Diego and Santa Barbara are turning to coffee crops. There are now about 14,000 coffee plants in California—about 30 times the amount there were 13 years ago. The Times reports California appears set for the first serious American attempt at homegrown coffee outside of Hawaii.

There is, of course, skepticism that California can produce coffee as tasty as that from the tropical highlands of Brazil and Indonesia. But Jason Mraz points out people didn’t use to think you could grow wine grapes in California either. Yes, the Grammy-winning singer is one of those farmers jumping on the coffee train. San Diego reports Mraz has been growing avocados for years and is now making the switch. Growing coffee can be labor intensive and expensive, but one expert says California growers are targeting coffee lovers “willing to pay for something unusual.” The kind of people who don’t blanch at paying up to $12 for a specialty cup of coffee could provide California growers with sizable profit margins

I love coffee and I do not think that California has the soil for good coffee….especially a $12 cup of coffee….but then we are talking about people that buy flavored water, chewy vitamins and Snuggies….so I guess any thing is possible.

Now the “Nuts”……

I really like walnuts and pistachios and when California learns how to properly prepare them, pistachios, they might have a winner on their hands……sorry got off topic there…..

Ir seems that thieves are making a small fortune off stolen nuts….

Since 2013, more than 35 truckloads of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, worth a combined $10 million, have disappeared in California. In an extensive look at efforts to crack the case, Peter Vigneron at Outside reveals a story that is, well, nuts. It turns out stealing nuts, which are worth a pretty penny, is relatively easy. In one 2015 case, a truck driver drove off with a $450,000 load of pistachios before a nut company realized his paperwork was iffy. Companies don’t always pay close attention to drivers’ documents. But even if they did, it would be hard to find anything suspicious. One convicted thief told Vigneron he was able to get his hands on the Department of Transportation ID number for a legitimate trucking company. He slapped it on a truck, got a fake driver’s license, and started getting jobs. It was that easy.

Though tracking nuts is far more difficult than tracking, say, electronics, which carry serial numbers, the thief was eventually caught delivering a truckload of almonds to a warehouse in Van Nuys, rather than its intended destination in New York. But he served less than a month in jail since those convicted of grand theft in California are to serve their sentences in county jails, which are overcrowded. Authorities are mostly focused on the “bigger fish,” anyway, a detective tells Vigneron; sometimes the drivers involved aren’t even aware of the larger scheme. That same detective says his investigations have revealed a key suspect co-signed a $5 million loan to a Los Angeles County official. Think you’re beginning to understand how complicated a case this is? It only gets more complex. Authorities say their investigations have also revealed links to the Russian mafia. More on that here.

See….fruits and nuts…….happy now?

As per usual this will be my only post today…….unless something major breaks and needs my attention…..

Enough!  Time to enjoy the day…..see you guys tomorrow.  chuq