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SLO Saves Drought Stricken Avocados

Forty volunteers with glean SLO came out to harvest avocado at an orchard in Morro Bay.

Glean SLO is a program of the San Luis Obispo County food bank. Glean SLO program manager, Jen Miller, said “It would’ve just rotted on the ground.”

Rick Sauerwein’s is struggling to keep his avocado trees healthy he cant sell the fruit because it’s not marketable.

Sauerwein said “When we invested in this it was an investment in our retirement.”

Sauerwein has around 11 acres of land a majority used for avocados. He started with 1,000 trees when he first bought the property several years ago, but because of drought, some floods through the year, and high temperatures his tree count is down to 850. He hopes to keep them all healthy.

Sauerwein said “If we can get rain this fall, by stumping the trees it puts them in a dormant state. Instead of the water going to the foliage and the fruit it keeps the roots healthy.”

Sauerwein asked the food bank’s Glean SLO to come out and harvest the avocados.

The food bank in SLO County is used by one in six county residents. Jen Miller said “Between higher prices at the market and farmers holding on tighter to their crops it’s just increasingly harder [to fill up fresh produce].”

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