Posts Tagged 'reefer truck'

Farmer Margie Arrested! Driving Incognito Farm Truck

Late this morning, I was tooling along Killian Drive in our farm truck, enjoying the pretty scenery and gorgeous weather, accompanied by BHF intern Liberty. We were headed to Fairchild Tropical Garden to pick up the leftovers from our wildly successful Edible Garden Day weekend.

 Along came Pinecrest Police officer Blineau, who took one look at the truck and pulled us over. Officer B proceeded to inform me that I was committing an arrestable misdemeanor offense, by

 ‘not displaying the required commercial markings in violation of Miami Dade County Ordinance which requires that all commercial vehicles have identification signs on both sides of the vehicle with the name, address, telephone number and occupational license of the owner in letters and numbers larger than 3″ in height’.

Very confused, since we are not a business (like a handyman or plumber) with an occupational license, I explained that we are a farm, and told him where we were headed and what we were doing. He said we were on the road, transporting product, and therefore in violation.

He then took my ID and registration, requested I show him the back of the truck (empty except for a pallet jack), and asked me things like my social security number, how much I weighed, and whether my teeth were ‘normal’ (I kid you not!). Thinking he was writing me a ticket, I asked him what that had to do with anything. He informed me that he was filling out the arrest form, and I would be arrested on the spot, written up, and released, provided I promised to appear in court.

Liberty and I waited in the truck for over an hour, while he filled out the paperwork and, I guess, looked up my (non-existent) extensive criminal and traffic records. Then he waited for the sergeant to arrive to sign the paperwork. Finally, he asked me to get out of the truck,  fingerprinted me (after reminding me yet again that this was an arrestable offense) and asked me to sign (wait, no!  actually, he told me I had no choice but to sign, or he would cart me off to jail). Then he gave me my copy of the “Complaint/Arrest Affidavit”, and advised me to get the signs put on the truck before I received the summons for the court date, since that “might help me out”. I told Officer B he would have been of more help had he simply informed me and issued me a warning, whereupon he repeated (for about the fifth time), that he could bring me in to jail, but instead he was just arresting me right there and releasing me on the spot. I thanked him for destroying my day. He thought nothing of it – after all, arresting citizens is a routine part of his job.

Congratulations, Pinecrest PD! Officer B should be rewarded for keeping the Village safe from dangerous criminals like myself! Gee, I might be running an illegal nanny delivery service to those upscale Pinecrest homes – or maybe I’m carrying contraband construction materials to the very same homes. No, wait! maybe…those organic heirloom tomato starts are really drug plants in disguise…

…and a new week

This is week 2 of our eighth CSA season. Wow! We’ve been at this 8 years already – hard to believe. And how we’ve grown – from a humble beginning of 20 folks renewing every 4-weeks (with a max of 8 at any one time), picking up at the farm, to today’s 465 families in a tri-county area (Pompano to Key West), with a long waiting list. It blows my mind!

So thinking back to that, little bumps along the road like our first week’s crazyness with the truck and the WWOOFers and the reefer are really only annoying flies to swat off. Yeah, it sure doesn’t seem like that when you’re in the middle of it, trying to figure out what to do to get those shares out to everyone in good condition. But this is the kind of thing that makes life interesting – after all, it’d be mighty boring without some challenges along the way…

You know the deal with the glass half-empty or half-full? I’ve always looked at it as the glass is under a gushing torrent, and what you catch with it is entirely up to your approach. Reach out with an upright, steady arm, and your glass will overflow! Reach out holding it upside down, and it will be and remain empty.

SO- we start a new week (after a week of Thanksgiving and recovery, and off to the next adventure!

See you at the market on Sunday!

A Crazy week…

Wow! Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

This past week has been intense, to put it mildly. We expected a certain amount of stress and pressure, given that it was both the start of the CSA season and RAMBLE (oh, yes, and that beef thing, too…), but we sure didn’t expect all the extra grief!

First, the reefer/delivery truck. It’s had a major overhaul, nearly complete, these past few weeks. It got a new transmission, work on the frame, the box & insulation had repairs, it got new springs (triple-reinforced), even a new cab with a radio, a working glove box, and a whole lot of little things, too. Still pending was a new head. So, back comes the truck from its makeover at Victor’s spa for old trucks, and off he goes on Wednesday to pick up the first load of CSA goodies from one of the farms. He made it there just fine, loaded up, and started back- got on US 27, and blew a water line in the middle of nowhere. So he pulled off the road and went to get water from a nearby canal, only to get shot at! (No, he wasn’t hit, and neither was the truck- but what was that all about??) Well, Victor Sr. got the truck fixed, and returned late that night. All was well-so we thought.

Early the next morning, we went to Florida City and picked up a couple of pallets of wax boxes and some cases of plastic clamshells for Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, where Victor was going later in the morning to pick up more CSA veggies. No incident – everything looked good. So off he went, destination West Coast (of Florida, silly!). Heading north on US 27, about 20 miles out of Miami, he hears this horrendous cracking noise, figures he’s got a blowout, and immediately pulls off the road. Looks at all the tires-nothing. Looks at the muffler-nothing. Mystified, he pops the hood (more precisely, on this truck you pop the cab), and sees that the plastic radiator fan blades have disintegrated. Can’t continue without a repair, so he tries to head back to Hialeah and the shop. Of course, without the fan, he can’t even go one mile without dangerously overheating, so he has to get someone to shuttle him back to town, to pick up the needed parts and return to fix it. Meanwhile, we prepare Plan B in case we need it- take my pickup truck to Punta Gorda and come back with a borrowed trailer from Worden Farm. OK, that will work, but it means we have to take the RAMBLE plants to Fairchild early, in case we need to send off the pickup truck. Luckily, the parts were available. It’s a darn good thing Victor is also a truck mechanic!

Meantime, back on the farm, while all this is going down, I am summarily informed by our Spanish WWOOFer couple that they could not sleep with the noise from the truck and I needed to park the truck elsewhere. I said no, and explained they needed to get used to the noise, because it would be running 3 nights a week. They got offended and decided they had had enough of farm life and would leave that day with no advance notice. I expressed my dismay and disappointment at the disregard for responsiblity shown by a spur-of-the-moment decision that would affect farm operations on the first heavy workload of the season, and asked them to stay at least through the weekend. But no, it was too much inconvenience for them. So, good riddance, and off to the next problem… but now my remaining loyal hardworking work crew would have to double up on RAMBLE duty, with no time off whatsoever during the weekend. Stress, did you say? Read more


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