It’s the last day of National Peach Month, and we’re finally sharing our family recipe for peach cobbler with all of you! This has been a family favorite for many years, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. We may or may not eat it for breakfast.
3lbs of HMC Farms peaches
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup pancake mic
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375°
Toss peaches with brown sugar in a greased 9″ square baking dish
Combine pancake mix, sugar, and cinnamon
Stir egg into the dry mixture until it becomes crumbly
Top peaches with crumble mixture and top with melted butter
Bake for about 45 minutes, until topping is a golden brown
A summer storm made its way to the Central Valley this month. An estimated 1/4″ of rain touched down on our farms, which is unprecedented at this time of year. Some stone showed hardly any impact, while other blocks were more significantly impacted. It appears that the rain impacted all commodities to some degree and the varieties that were just ready to be harvested and in the middle of harvest were most severely affected.
Table grape harvest remains ongoing. We’re seeing an impressive crop of green seedless varietals coming out of our vineyards this year. All commodities appear to be ahead of schedule compared to last year’s harvest, ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks.
HMC recently attended the Global Grape Summit with attendees and speakers from six continents (unfortunately no penguins or Antarctic researchers could attend) to discuss viewpoints on the evolution and future of the grape industry. One point of discussion was the impact of the explosion of new varieties, with many different opinions from growers, retailers, and the four major international grape breeders. Harold, as a scheduled speaker, explained that to stone fruit growers, a multitude of varietal options is nothing new. He further explained that many new varieties come with characteristics beneficial to the grower which also provide a better consumer experience. As a business, we not only compete with other grape and stone fruit growers, but also other fruit commodities vying for the shoppers’ dollar. Improved eating characteristics provided by some of the new varieties help inspire consumers to add our products to their shopping baskets.
A few growers were recently invited to meet with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to explain our position on California water. Fresno County is the number one agricultural county in the United States. We live in a very unique environment that allows us to feed not only a great part of the nation, but also the world.
Governor Newsom just introduced a plan that will prioritize any and all available water, and agriculture is at the bottom of that list. We are concerned about his knowledge of our needs and nervous that this limited resource continues to be divided by increased demand upon less and less water. It is ironic to have to explain to our elected officials the value of food… something which every hungry country already understands.
McClarty Farms has been very diligent in owning and acquiring property in areas of abundant ground water. We have had the rights to this water for over a century. It is often not about availability, but about ownership. We are nervous that we are being legislated by large populations in coastal cities with no knowledge of how food gets onto their table. Permanent crops must be planted years before they are ready to harvest. Water unknowns today are forcing farmers to make decisions that will impact our food supply five years from now. Our obligation is to educate and inform, making people aware of the growing concern we have for our way of life, our own families, and all agriculture-dependent families. We do not want to see bare grocery store shelves or be dependent on imports for our food security. We as farmers have always been innovative and creative, and we will continue to work to solve these challenges. Using available tools, we do everything we can to manage water as efficiently as possible. “Marginal” water-challenged areas are left fallow, while drip irrigation and new technology allows for better water management, determining the perfect quantity for plant needs.
Our job now is to make people understand that we need to share the most important commodity in California… water.
HMC Farms® has partnered with Tevel Aerobotics Technologies to pilot their drone harvesting system utilizing Flying Autonomous Robots. Each robot has the ability to fly, locate fruit, harvest and place the fruit all on its own with no human interaction required.
HMC Farms has a reputation for pursuing cutting edge ag technology. Drew Ketelsen, Vice President and Farm Manager, has a background in civil engineering which gives him a unique perspective on farming and technology. He and Jon McClarty, President of HMC Farms and Drew’s brother-in-law, work together to stay updated on the latest developments and test various forms of ag tech in order to determine the best fit for their farms.
Ketelsen attributes HMC’s high density stone fruit planting system with the ability to utilize drone harvesting. He says, “The years of work we’ve put into cultivating high density orchards are paying off as we implement technology like Flying Autonomous Robot harvesting. We have successfully harvested peaches, nectarines and multiple colors of plums using drones this summer. This project is still in an early stage, but the future potential is very exciting.”
When asked about his thoughts on the pilot program and expanding into the U.S. market, Ittai Marom, US General Manager at Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, shared: “Tevel is pushing the limits of the autonomous revolution in agriculture, and this year marks our debut in the US with our first customers, among them HMC Farms. In harvesting HMC’s fruit, we are gaining first-hand field experience by working alongside their team, while HMC is positioning itself at the forefront of robotic harvesting of stone fruit. So far in our California operations, we have successfully harvested peaches, nectarines, and plums. We are grateful for the support we are getting from HMC’s management and team.”
Autonomous harvest options have great potential to fill a crucial need in the agricultural community, which has notoriously dealt with labor shortages over the years. In places like California’s Central Valley, this technology also may help with harvest during periods of extreme heat, as summer temperatures can often reach well above 100 degrees for many days in a row, right at the peak of stone fruit harvest.
About HMC Farms
HMC Farms is a family owned and operated farming business that has grown tree fruit and table grapes in California’s Central Valley since 1887. They believe in growing fruit they are proud to put their name on. To learn more about HMC Farms, visit www.hmcfarms.com.
About Tevel Aerobotics Technologies
Tevel’s mission is to lead the transformation from manual fruit picking into on-demand Flying Autonomous Robots. To learn more about Tevel, visit www.tevel-tech.com.