Plant problems and amazing volunteers

This post summarizes Thursday and Friday, and I apologize for the late post, but… the end of the week was crazy and I didn't have time to find good internet to write a post.

The whole peach plant panarama style.

The whole peach plant panarama style.

Thursday was crazy. We were super short staffed, running two to a side on the cutters (normally we have 4) and then the peaches were extra hard and the cutters were struggling with them. It means they were in general less goopy, but then they didn't cut correctly. In the cup-up station we were throwing away dozens of peaches per flat because they still had bits of pit in them. It was the pits.

Needless to say, we were busy. And thus I'm not sure any pictures were taken. Whoops!

Friday we had two extra day groups worth of people in so we were able to run all three cutters all day, and we were excited to get a lot more done. The machines had other plans, however and we ended up needing to improvise a different way to get the cull fruit (bad fruit/cores) out of the plant.

Here are my observations about our team: when things went wrong, our kids hopped to it. They immediately grabbed shovels and brooms and started scooping up the mess and moving it to the trash bins. Then, when people were needed to hold a board so we could keep running plant, again, it was our EHA/TGA youth that hopped in without complaint to help. While we were standing around waiting for them to figure out what had broken I had two different kids come up to me and ask if they could hop off their cutter (that wasn't running) in order to help clean up. That's the kids we have. This is why I love this trip so much. It's hard backbreaking work. And they do it with a song and a smile all day long, continually seeking and volunteering for extra work.

If you look closely in the middle of this picture you can see what went wrong: the belt is held in a loop with wire stitching that came about halfway apart. This made the belt that carries all the cull line out of the plant stop running. This created a major backup of bad fruit and cores.

If you look closely in the middle of this picture you can see what went wrong: the belt is held in a loop with wire stitching that came about halfway apart. This made the belt that carries all the cull line out of the plant stop running. This created a major backup of bad fruit and cores.

The backup (and spillage) because the belt wasn't running.

The backup (and spillage) because the belt wasn't running.

Fritz came up with an awesome solution to the cull line not working, and then Zoe, Victoria, and Jonathan made it happen. They said it only got dicey when the bin would get full and they'd have to catch all the fruit and balance it on the board while they swapped the bin for a new one!

Fritz came up with an awesome solution to the cull line not working, and then Zoe, Victoria, and Jonathan made it happen. They said it only got dicey when the bin would get full and they'd have to catch all the fruit and balance it on the board while they swapped the bin for a new one!

Unbeknownst to us, the issue was the belt right below this line of trays in cup-up…

Unbeknownst to us, the issue was the belt right below this line of trays in cup-up…

Cleaning up

Cleaning up

Micah manhandles a tray

Micah manhandles a tray

George quickly explains to Joey how to do trays at the auger station before taking his first turn at wet peaches.

George quickly explains to Joey how to do trays at the auger station before taking his first turn at wet peaches.

Aly was complaining that I'm never in the pictures because I'm always taking them. So she stole my phone. Here's a photo of Josh and I while confusion was happening with the belt breaking. And yes, we have matching water backpacks. Have I mentioned that it's HOT in Dinuba?

Aly was complaining that I'm never in the pictures because I'm always taking them. So she stole my phone. Here's a photo of Josh and I while confusion was happening with the belt breaking. And yes, we have matching water backpacks. Have I mentioned that it's HOT in Dinuba?

Zoe and Luke (from Dinuba)

Zoe and Luke (from Dinuba)

Joey, Jared, Elizabeth, and Makoa

Joey, Jared, Elizabeth, and Makoa

One more update: a couple of these kids have busted butt doing some stuff I never got pictures of. Oops. Haley, Victoria and Joey spent the morning every day cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and mopping and then doing whatever housekeeping jobs needed to be done. Specifically that means a LOT of getting rid of spider webs, and picking up garbage. Henna spent a good chunk of her day helping out in the kitchen. Sorry for the lack of photos. Normally I remember that step. I'm going to blame it on the heat!

One more picture just for Haley because she loved these plants.

Giant aloe vera plants outside the staff housing

Giant aloe vera plants outside the staff housing

Come back soon for a blog all about my favorite day: Saturday!

-Wendy

Wendy DrokeComment