There are many factors that have made and continue to allow California, especially the Central Valley, to be one of the most important and productive agricultural regions in the entire world. Some of the factors include the “Mediterranean” style climate, contrasting geologic features, fertile soil, dedicated and resilient farmers, and of course an extensive network of water storage and delivery systems.

Sources of Water

Although 80-85% of our water is used for agricultural purposes, the valley’s modern day water infrastructure was not born out of agricultural needs, but from the discovery of gold. During the gold rush, miners created hundred of miles of canals to transport the water needed for hydraulic mining and gold-washing operations. When the time of the gold rush came to a close, Californians set their sights (and water canals) to the flourishing agriculture industry. Our water supply in the Central Valley comes from two main sources:

1. Surface Water is water that gathers on the ground, such as rivers, streams, reservoirs, and lakes. With the central valley’s unpredictable and varying annual rainfall and precipitation, reservoirs are a critical component in providing reliable water supplies to communities and farms.

2. Ground Water is water that has absorbed into the ground. During the rainy months (October to late March) the rainwater that is absorbed into the ground will typically make its way into an underground water table otherwise known as an aquifer.

Surface Water Storage & Delivery

Surface water is an incredibly important resource for our farmers and communities alike. Our growers take advantage of the Central Valley’s surface water resources with lakes, man-made reservoirs, rivers, and canals.

A weir to control the flow of water from the Kings River to canals for distribution across the valley.

A weir to control the flow of water from the Kings River to canals for distribution across the valley.

Pine Flat Dam & Reservoir

The most important reservoir for us in and around Reedley is the Pine Flat Reservoir. Pine Flat is a man made reservoir and gravity dam. While Pine Flat’s primary purpose is to control flooding it is also a critical irrigation resource for central valley farmers. In addition to Pine Flat being an average of 15-20 miles away from our growers the reservoir is massive at 30 miles long with surface area of 6000 square acres, the maximum capacity of the reservoir can hold up to 1,000,000 acre feet of water. As of 4/27/2014, Pine Flat Lake was at 29% capacity, significantly lower than the historical average of 43%. See current conditions here.

The water collected in the reservoir is from the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The melted snowpack is stored as a precious resource until it is ready to be utilized during our dry summers. Snowpack is extremely important to our water storage as it is the main source of water that feeds into reservoirs such as Pine Flat, any lack of snowpack leads to a lack of surface water. Coupled with the dismal rainfall this winter, the current snowpack only contains 32% of the average water content for this time of year. Given the conditions, the 2014 snowpack could be the fifth lowest on record since the state snow survey began in 1930.

Kings River

Pine Flat feeds the stored water into the Kings River which runs 125 miles through Fresno Country and into the Tulare Lake bed. Our growers use an intricate system of canals, weirs, and even underground ditches to divert and transport the water in order to irrigate their fields. Canals are used to transport water from the river to the farmed acreage that has access (i.e. proper underground pipes to direct water flow) to this water. Weirs are small dams that are used to raise the water level and therefore allow our farmers to alter the flow of the water and diverting it to where it is needed. Underground ditches may be invisible to the naked eye but this extensive network of underground ditches is right underneath our feet and allows for the water to flow efficiently to the fields.

Ground Water Storage & Delivery

Our farmers take advantage of the water that has accumulated into the aquifers by pumping it out of the ground to be used to irrigate land or to be purified into the drinking water. Surface water satisfied most irrigation needs until the late 19th century but as the agriculture industry grew in the central valley so did the demand for water.

Summeripe Grower/Packer Richard Sawatzky reviews a water sample pulled from a well being developed in the middle of our Orchards.

Summeripe Grower/Packer Richard Sawatzky reviews a water sample pulled from a well being developed in the middle of our Orchards.

Wells

The invention of the deep-well turbine pump in the 1930’s allowed withdrawals from much greater depths and lead to the use of wells to supplement the less than dependable surface-water supplies. Wells also supply water to areas where surface water diversion canals and ditches have not and cannot be constructed. As mentioned in the previous Summeripe Focus, wells are becoming increasingly important for our farmers during these dry times. Ten years ago a specific well in our orchard was able to pump water from a depth of just 40 feet. Today, that same well settles at 63 feet.

Ground Water vs. Surface Water

Surface water and ground water are both incredibly important sources of water for our farmers and for our communities. California might not be the agriculture superpower that it is without the ability to store rainfall and snow-pack during the winter months and then transporting the water to our fields during the dry months. Our water infrastructure is especially crucial to us during times of drought. Due to the lack of stored water (in Pine Flat Reservoir) there is a much higher need and cost to utilizing our water infrastructure and pumping the water that our fruit needs.

Estimated Cost of Ground Water Estimated Cost of Surface Water
Electricity Expense: $800-$900/month for 1 well pump?  Example: An 250 acre Summeripe field can have up to 9 well pumps  Electricity Expense: $20/month per acre foot, price may vary due to water district
Irrigation Labor Expense?  $12/hour, 50 hours/week  Irrigation Labor Expense?  $12/hour, 50 hours/week 
Possible Water Testing & Treatment Expense  

 

*Projected average costs based on historical data from a specific Summeripe grower, does not represent the conditions in the entire Central Valley 

Click for Part 1: Building California’s Water Infrastructure, Storage, & Delivery Systems
Click for Part 2: Water Problems
Click for Part 3: Solutions, Preparing for Droughts & Mitigating Drought Impacts

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
1177 calories
181 g
174 g
46 g
22 g
27 g
1299 g
317 g
160 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1299g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1177
Calories from Fat 411
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g
71%
Saturated Fat 27g
135%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 174mg
58%
Sodium 317mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 181g
60%
Dietary Fiber 18g
71%
Sugars 160g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
92%
Vitamin C
103%
Calcium
59%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 6 Summeripe® peaches; pitted and halved
  2. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 3 cups vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle cut side of each peach half with cinnamon. Place peaches on a baking sheet and spray each with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare charcoal or gas grill for cooking (375°F). Spray a vegetable grilling rack or basket with nonstick spray. Arrange peaches cut-side down on rack or basket. Grill peaches for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Place 2 peach halves on a plate and top it with 1/2 cup of ice cream.
beta
calories
1177
fat
46g
protein
22g
carbs
181g
more
Mountain View Fruit https://mvfruit.com/

Peach Fold Up Tart

Peach Fold Up Tart
Yields 4
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
128 calories
26 g
8 g
3 g
1 g
2 g
141 g
2 g
22 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
141g
Yields
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 128
Calories from Fat 28
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 8mg
3%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 22g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
9%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups fresh Summeripe® peaches, sliced (approximately 4 peaches)
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 sheet prepared puff pastry dough, 10 inches by 16 inches and 1/4-inch thick, thawed
  6. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the peaches, sugar and flour and toss to mix.
  3. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
  4. On a floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 15-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Place the pastry on an ungreased baking sheet and spoon the peaches into the center, leaving about 2 inches uncovered around the perimeter. The fruit will be stacked high but will reduce in volume as it cooks.
  6. Fold the uncovered edges of the pastry up to cover as much of the fruit as possible, pinching and tucking the dough as necessary.
  7. Dot the top of the fruit with the butter pieces.
  8. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Do not undercook.
  9. Cut into wedges and serve hot.
beta
calories
128
fat
3g
protein
1g
carbs
26g
more
Mountain View Fruit https://mvfruit.com/

Summeripe Peach Bruschetta

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Summeripe Peach Bruschetta

  • Author: Peggy Thurlow
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

Delicious Summeripe Peaches, goat cheese, crispy shallots and sage leaves drizzled with a sweet balsamic vinegar reduction sauce create the ultimate summer time bruschetta. Use Summeripe Peach Bruschetta as an appetizer, first course, or even as a delicious snack!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Summeripe Peaches, pitted and diced
  • 17 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 oz. package goat cheese
  • 121/4 inch slices of baguette, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, reduce balsamic vinegar over low heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 45 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Store remaining vinegar reduction in an airtight container.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until crisp. Place crisp shallots in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place whole sage leaves in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove gently to a plate.

Assemble Summeripe Peach Bruschetta

  1. Spread goat cheese on toasted baguette slices.
  2. Top with crisp shallots and diced peaches.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and place a whole crisp sage leaf on top.

Notes

  • Summeripe Nectarines can be used to make a delicious Summeripe Nectarine Bruschetta.

Keywords: appetizers

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Grilled Summeripe Peach and Arugula Salad with Nectarine Dressing

  • Author: Peggy Thurlow
  • Total Time: 30

Scale

Ingredients

Grilled Peaches

  • 3 Summeripe peaches, pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, ultra fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Brandy, just enough to coat the bottom of a cookie sheet

Nectarine Dressing

  • 2 Summeripe nectarines, pitted and quartered.
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or blue agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Grilled Peaches

  1. Pour brandy onto a cookie sheet.
  2. Add ultra fine sugar and stir until mixed.
  3. Place peach half face down into the brandy mixture and macerate for 30 minutes or longer.
  4. Brush flesh of each peach half with olive oil and grill for 2-5 minutes or until black grill marks appear. Set aside. Discard brandy mixture

Nectarine Dressing

  1. Place first 6 ingredients into blender or food processor and puree. Add olive oil and blend until smooth.
  2. Makes 1.5 cups. More than six servings.
  3. Store in refrigerator.

Pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pecans onto a small oven proof pan and bake for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

Assemble Salad

  1. In a large bowl add arugula, dried cranberries or raisins, pecans, crumbled pancetta.
  2. Toss desired amount of dressing onto salad. Season to taste.
  3. Divide salad onto six individual plates. Sprinkle goat cheese on top and place a grilled peach half on each plate.