Mr. Al came by my office early this week and said he'd like for me to write my post about buttons. I'll be honest with ya'll, I didn't know what he was talking about…. They call Lawton's son Sutton, “button” sometimes, so I thought maybe he had a story he wanted to tell me about that little cutie, but unfortunately, that was not the button he was speaking of. Later that day, he came back in and brought a handful of these little tiny peaches and asked me to take a picture. I knew then this wasn't going to be a story I could use phrases like “cute as a button” or “you bet your buttons” or my favorite, “don't touch the button.”

A peach button happens when growing fruit lacks pollination and in turn, doesn't mature. In essence, the tree blooms, but sadly, the bloom wasn't destined to become a peach. During harvest, these buttons are so small there is no reason to pick them, but leaving them on the tree means danger for next year's crop. If you leave them hanging, they will form brown rot and turn into what is called a “mummy” that stays on the tree. This brown rot is protected inside the mummy during the winter months and once spring arrives, it will start growing and infect the tree. Some peach varieties button more than others, and seasons that experience abnormal growing conditions will produce more buttons than normal. Having to deal with these little boogers is nothing new, but we have our work cut out for us this time. The process is time consuming and expensive but money saving in the end.This week we began the laborious job of “de-buttoning” the trees. We believe that a clean orchard will produce clean fruit, so we will spend the next few weeks picking, knocking off and in some instances cutting buttons from MANY of our sweet little peach trees. We will be conducting what Mr. Al likes to call, orchard maintenance, so we can prepare as best we can, these trees for the 2018 season.One of my favorite all time movies is FACING THE GIANTS, and the exchange between Coach Taylor and Mr. Bridges is possibly one of my favorite scenes. If you haven't seen it, Coach Taylor is the football coach for a school whose team is having a difficult season, and Mr. Bridges is a gentleman who has been praying for the school for years. He feels led by God to come and share a word with Coach Taylor and proceeds to tell the following story:“There were 2 farmers who desperately needed rain. Both of them prayed for rain but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?” Coach Taylor responded with, “Well the one who prepared his fields for it?” Mr. Bridges then said, “Which one are you? God will send the rain when He is ready. It is your job to prepare your field to receive it.”Pearson Farm has been blessed beyond measure despite the challenges we faced with this year's peach crop. We will continue to follow our motto… Dum Spiro Spero- While I breathe I Hope, as we close out this peach season, and just like the farmer in Mr. Bridges story, we are already praying for next year's crop, and we are preparing our fields for rain.……Philemon 22: And one thing more: prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. (NIV)

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