I love living in the San Joaquin Valley. Almost year-round you can find roadside stands with "farm-fresh" fruit in season. A recent edition of the Agricultural Communications Documentation Center's newsletter quoted a writer, Thomas Semon, who believes the phrase "farm fresh" is helping debase the English language.
"The phrase 'farm fresh' is part of a long-established practice of advertisers to use language that doesn't really mean what it says but sounds good, and is not specific enough to be clearly deceptive," he says.
In my usage of the term in the first sentence, however, 'farm fresh' does really mean what it says. In the valley, the first roadside stands to open in the spring sell the best strawberries you have ever tasted. Close on strawberries' heels come cherries. According to a story in the Stockton Record yesterday, a strong supply of the delicious tree fruit will be soon be sold on valley roadsides.
Reporter Reed Fujii went to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Joe Grant for his opinion on the 2007 cherry crop. "My sense of what's going on around here is it depends on what orchard you're in," he was quoted in the article. There's orchards with light to very-light crops, and then there's orchards with very heavy crops." Grant continued: "I'd be concerned in some of the heavier orchards being able to size well. Some of these overset orchards, if they are small, it could be tough sledding as far as sales goes."
Speaking of healthful fruit, the annual Blueberry Field Day and Tasting is held at the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center today.