Ron's PhotoBlog

Wednesday, 03 December 2014 13:11

The Challenges and Effects of Record Drought

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Drilling first of the new wells It rained yesterday! That is a big event considering the last three years of drought. In fact we have had half as much rain in the last two weeks as we had all of last year. But 1 1/2 inches of rainfall is not much. Three years of drought with last year breaking all the records at only a little over 3 inches for the whole year. In spite…
Monday, 23 January 2012 02:00


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I heard the shout from the front office - "Ron get your camera!" Double Rainbow We were treated to one of the better rainbows I have seen in many years.  Big black clouds and associated downpour had just passed heading east and the late afternoon sun popped out brightly to create a brilliant rainbow.  Double rainbow in fact. The Other Half I think what impressed most was the brightness near the ground.  The left side…
Friday, 20 January 2012 02:00

Disaster Preparedness Pays Off

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We have made various plans in case of disasters and Friday it paid off.  Not that it was a major disaster but the effects were troubling none-the less. One of the planned scenarios is what happens if we lose utility power during our busiest part of shipping season.  When shipping up to 240 orders a day, we are processing a lot of invoices, packing lists and calling a lot of customers alerting them to their…
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 16:48

Grand Marshal

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Last night my father, Bob Ludekens, was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Visalia Candy Cane Lane Parade. This is a major event for our lovely city where 7-10,000 families line Main Street in the cold (and sometimes fog like last night) to kick off the Christmas season. Parade has been growing for 66 years. It was a treat for all of us to see Bob honored. Most of you in the nursery trade…
Monday, 21 November 2011 11:24

Seasons are Relative

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Some of you are already building snowmen. In this agricultural rich San Joaquin Valley, we rarely see the white stuff so we have to be creative. I saw this on Tom's computer monitor several times last week but each time I came to take a photo, body parts were missing. Tom likes the tasty Fuyu-Jiro Persimmons (so do the rest of us). It is persimmon season in Central California and the trees are full of…
Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:43

Lessons from Trees

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I ran across this piece this morning while reading Cybersalt Digest's daily email of clean fun and thought it worth sharing with those in the tree trade. "Lessons From Trees" It's important to have roots. In today's complex world, it pays to branch out. If you really believe in something, don't be afraid to go out on a limb. Be flexible so you don't break when a harsh wind blows. Sometimes you have to shed…
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 12:09

Rare Fruit Growers Meeting

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Last Saturday most of the sales and management staff had the priviledge of joining the local chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers for their monthly meeting. The meeting was held at the Home of Walter & Brenda Thoma in the foothills just outside Porterville. Walter Thoma leading us through his extensive orchard Walter is in his mid 70's (with the energy and drive of someone in his 30's) and over the last 20 years…
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 03:00

Coffeehouse Jam

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We have a lot of awesome people working for L.E. Cooke Co and last Sunday I got to see a number of them in action outside of work. Tom Fetch (Sales Manager) volunteers at the Tulare City Library helping tutor others in the Adult Literacy program (Tulare Read). Each year he has also helped do some fund raising by putting on horticultural classes about edible landscaping or pruning. This year he coordinated a much larger…
Saturday, 16 July 2011 16:44

Flame Mimosa - Fan Silk Albizia

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Yesterday, I was driving down one of our county back roads near the nursery and saw this rather stunning sight: (Of course the photo would be a little nicer without the junker car under it and the rain-bird sprinkler running in the foreground.) By the red flowers, it must be the Flame Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin 'Fan Silk') - or at least that is the same color of the flowers on the Fan Silk trees we…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 22:34

Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens

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Last Saturday my wife and I drove to Woodlake to enjoy the Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens Berry Tasting Day. Ran into my business partner David Cox there as well. Guess we were thinking alike - great tasting fruit. Samples of Blueberries for tasting Woodlake is a small valley city of over 7,000 hard working people about 20 minutes east of us in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is in the citrus belt…
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