Typical Day In My Back Yard

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by usedto, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    15,722
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    Central Moonbeamia
    Not really.

    We bought this place in 1986 so we could live here and have my business on the same piece of property. It's about 1 1/2 miles from town in farm country, but this piece at one time was part of some commercial property that housed a truck stop and restaurant, and at one time a tomato grading station. We got it rezoned to industrial in the early 90s, but most of the ground around us is still farmed. It looked like it might all go to commercial/residential at one time, but the slump in the economy changed that.

    Since we've been here, the field behind us has had a multitude of crops, including wheat, tomatoes, melons, onions, and up until today, alfalfa. It has been nice for the past 7 years with the hay behind us, because it is virtually dust free. That ended today, when the disc came and started working the ground. The alfalfa had reached the end of it's useful life.

    However, since the possibilities of development have dwindled, the owner of the property leased the ground to one of the local younger farmers, and by the first of the year, there will be a little over 240 acres of almonds planted behind us, which will make for a pleasant "back yard" in the future.

    My biggest complaint is that I love to be able to see what is going on in the neighborhood, and trees will end most of that. Oh, well. We plan on selling in 2-3 years anyway, so I guess id really doesn't matter.

    Anyway, I snapped this quick photo this morning. The Caterpillar Challenger 65 is pulling a 24' disc with a ring roller behind it - the first of many pieces of equipment to prep the place for the trees. I took this particular photo so you could also see the crop duster in the center. He's spraying the tomato field across the street.

    Another item of interest - that long gray building you see in the lower right - that's what will soon be the new Amazon distribution center that should open in a few months. Just out of the photo on the right is Best Buy's warehouse.

    The mountain range in the background is called The Altamont - home of the rock concert years ago. Beyond that about 70 miles San Francisco and the rest of the bay area. You can even see a little of the fog bank pushing it's way over the mountains.

    Sorry it's such a crummy photo. Combination of lousy camera and operator.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  2. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    28,696
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    There goes the neighborhood, it'll be full of nuts now.
     
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  3. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Long as it's still early in the development, keep an eye on how they're setting up for drainage. I've got a lot of corn planted behind me and it wasn't a problem until some new "farmer" (probably with a copy of Farming For Dummies stashed in his back pocket) decided the rows looked purtier facing the other way. That of course routed all the drainage water from the snow melt thru my back yard. We had a talk, it hasn't happened again, but trees tend to be a bit more permanent than corn. Anyway, if you've ever had runoff issues from that area, now's the time to work on that too.

    Just sayin' ...
    (The devil made me say that) <G>
     
  4. spartanmanor

    spartanmanor Lunatic Member

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    That should be nice.
     
  5. bobbyonions

    bobbyonions AK Member

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    FREE ALMONDS:banana::banana::banana:
     
  6. Negotiableterms

    Negotiableterms Administrator Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    It's actually a great picture. I lived in Sacramento from 1978-1986, so it brings back memories!

    Don't almonds take about 3 years to be economic? Until then, the previous post is right - free almonds!
     
  7. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Sometimes the Feds pay part of the installation costs if you put a water conserving drip system in, so that might be how this will be done. He did the property across the street last January.

    3 - 5 years, depending on how good a job they do prepping the field for trees. They set the fields up for no-till. Once established, the only tractor work other than spraying or fertilizer will be a mower to keep the weeds down. He planted across the street in January, the same time as another farmer down the street. He took his time and did it right, while the other guy just stuck trees in the ground and let them sit. The difference in the two fields in astronomical!

    As far as me getting free almonds, my dear mother who passed away last year left the home ranch to us four kids, and my part was 60 acres of about 10 year old almonds. I have some for dessert every night!:thmbsp:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  8. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    For those of you who might be interested, I will keep you updated as to what it takes to go from hundreds of years of row crop farming to almond orchard.

    This photo is just to show what it looks like after the tractor and disc has made a second pass. Alfalfa is a tough crop, and the roots can go 15-20 feet deep in some cases. You can still see some green across the field that hasn't had the second pass.
    [​IMG]

    After he's made the second pass, another tractor comes along with the ripper. It has 5 or 7 shanks that go (I believe) 24-36 inches in the ground to break up the soil below that has become packed over the years. This will allow the tree roots to take a good deep set.
    [​IMG]

    Note: That mountain that you see disappearing behind the trees on the right is Mt Diablo:

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  9. Negotiableterms

    Negotiableterms Administrator Staff Member Admin Subscriber

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    Another old memory, Larry: Deed descriptions that end in "MDBM".
     
  10. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

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    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    I'll bet within 5 miles of me, there aren't 20 or so people who even would know what that means. I learned the basics of reading legal property descriptions years ago to save my "asterisk" in a few property purchases.:yes:
     
  11. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Just barely got this photo - here's what the ripper shanks look like out of the ground.

    [​IMG]

    If the ground is hard enough and the tractor has enough power to pull a ripper fairly fast, there are times when, while working at night, the shanks will actually get hot enough to glow.
     
  12. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Mount Diablo?

    Wouldn't expect that to show up much on deeds here in the Great White ...
     
  13. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

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    27,620
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    Out West.
    Mount Diablo Baseline and Meridian.

    Learned that when I took the California Real Estate Licensing course. Just for personal education, never had any intention of doing it for a living, but it sure makes you a more informed customer when you're buying or selling a house.

    And, I actually worked harvesting almonds in the valley back in the day. Dusty. :yes:
     
  14. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Same here. Nowadays, the people are spoiled. The sweepers and pickup machines mostly all have cabs, air conditioning, etc.
     
  15. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Which reminds me - the worst part of this whole operation (for us as downwind neighbors) is when they bring out the scraper to finish it off. If it hasn't rained, it will be so dusty you sometimes can't see three feet in front of you. I'll take photos if and when the time comes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  16. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    From a guy who likes his privacy, and has seen WAY too much commercial/residential development in this area........ what you've got going sounds really nice. Appreciate it for what it is !!
     
  17. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

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    I was distracted by something, and reached for the brush clutch lever on the sweeper, and shoved the back side of my right thumb directly on the exhaust manifold. Raised a blister the size of an...almond. Whole, with the hull. And this was in the morning. Had to keep working all effing day long, putting my viciously hurting blister right next to a million degree manifold at the end of every row.

    It was a long, long day.
     
  18. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    I'll toss this in here since it's not worth a thread of it's own.

    Last night, right after I hit the sack, Max, our resident pooch, started barking more than his occasional "erfs". He quit for a bit, then started up again. I went outside, and he was over by the fence, which is unusual. I had forgot my shotgun, so I decided to open the gate and let him deal with who or whatever was out there. He ran out, hung a right, and started a bundle of railroad ties I have there. Next thing I know, he has an opossum, which he quickly dispatched. After we calmed him down, I took a shovel and tossed it out in the field, figuring it would get disced under the next pass they made.

    I came out of the warehouse a bit ago, and spotted this. The one in the middle has the critter, and the other two are waiting their turn. You can't tell in the photo, but these vultures have wing spans around 5 feet.

    Bon Apetite!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Neet! Only vultures we got here in Michigan are the ones that show up at the front door trying to sealcoat my drive or paint the barn ... <G>

    We DO have bald eagles, but I expect they're a bit more finnicky when it comes to dinner. Although possum IS good eatin' ...
     
  20. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,722
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    Well, the field has been disced, ripped, disced again, and now ripped once more. Although this isn't a part of the process, I thought you might like to see this. Wifey and I go for a walk with our pooch through the fields every morning about 6:30 or so. One of the local crop dusters used a helicopter and he does quite a bit in this area. I heard a chopper, but it didn't sound like his, so I started looking around and spotted this. I grabbed my camera when we got back, but it's about a mile and a half away, so the photo is poor. That dark spot in the center of the photo is the helicopter I heard, but not the crop duster. It's lifting the HVAC units onto the roof of the new Amazon distribution center. I was uptown a few days ago, and truck were delivering the units and stacking them in the parking lot. There were 50 or 60 units when I saw them. Probably more than that now.

    [​IMG]
     

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