Friday, August 19, 2016

ASIAN PEARS

      It may be the middle of August but the trees are transitioning into fall.  Asian Pears are starting to fill the farm stand.  We have two yellow varieties: 20th Century (Nijyuseiki) and New Century (Shinseiki).  The brown varieties are:  Hosui, Yoi, and Shinko.  All are crisp, juicy and sweet.  They vary in flavor and tenderness.  Refrigerate these for a refreshing treat.
     We will be harvesting the last 2 varieties of peaches in the next two weeks.  Supply will be limited so it might be best to call ahead.  Our peach season was a bit disappointing.  Not as juicy and flavorful as previous years.  Some were bitter, some were mushy.  As we reflect on our years of experience, we have to conclude that growing peaches is a challenge.  The farming practices, the weather, the irrigation water, the ground water, the nutrients, etc. all have an influence on the result.  As farmers, after the harvest is in and winter then spring arrive,  there is always hope for a great peach season the next time.
     We are harvesting our last variety of plums.  Casselman are flavorful, juicy and sweet with a little tang.  They still represent the taste of summer.
     We have increased our water use but trees are just asking for more.  The ground doesn't seem to retain much moisture and our excess water drainage system has never been drier.    The old swamp is dry and the surrounding eucalyptus trees are shedding limbs.  We are looking forward to cooler weather and moisture from the sky.

     Currently in the farm stand:
Peaches: limited supply of Late Alamer, Summerset, and Fairtime
Plums:  Kelsey, Casselman, Elephant Heart, Friar
Grapes:  Limited supply of Kyoho and Thompson Seedless
Figs:  Brown Turkey, black Mission, and Green
Citrus:  Valencia oranges
Asian Pears:  20th century, New Century, Hosui, Yoi, and Shinko
European Pears:  Bartlet
Vegetables:  Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, summer squash, Asian cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, long beans, eggplant, tomatillos, hot and sweet peppers, basil, and okra.
Sunnyslope Farm is bringing us yellow freestone peaches
Pleasant Hill Farm is bringing us Friar plums and Hosui and Niitaka Asian pears
Other Items:  Good Stuff Jams, Honey, salve, eggs, hoshigaki strips and grade B hoshigaki

Orders for Sierra Foothill Producer Coop is due Sept 8th with delivery Sept 16.  Check out Meat Deliveries at the web site:  sinclairfamily farm.net  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

TOMATO AND PEACH SEASON

Tomato season has finally arrived.  Many of you have been waiting for vine ripened, juicy tomatoes for your BLTs.  We have many types of tomatoes:  slicing, heirloom, paste, salad, and cherry.
Along with tomatoes the farm stand is full of juicy, sweet peaches, plums and pluots. Now is the time for canning or freezing this year's harvest to enjoy the rest of the year.
Currently in the farm stand we are selling:
Peaches:  Fay Elberta, 49er, Rio Oso Gem, and O'Henry
Plums:  Laroda, Friar, Eldorado, Kelsey, and Red Roy
Pluots:  Flavor King, Flavor Queen, and Dapple Dandy
Citrus: Valencia oranges
Asian Pears :  20th Century, and Hosui
Herbs:  Basil, rosemary, red shiso, mint, catnip, and lemon balm
Grapes: red
Vegetables: Tomatoes, Asian cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, summer squash, tomatillos, eggplant, and peppers
Other items:  honey, Good Stuff Jam, Calendula Salve, Hoshigaki

From other producers:
Sunnyslope Farm:  Elberta peaches, Candy Stripe pluots
Pleasant Hill Farm:  Friar plums, Cassie plums, Dapple Dandy pluots

See you at the farm stand.

Monday, July 25, 2016

PEACHES AND PLUMS

Its time for Friar Plum Pie.  This easy to make pie is in season.  Find Friar plums and the recipe at our farm stand.
The Fay Elberta peach season has started, soon to be followed by O'Henry and Rio Oso Gem peaches.  We also have several varieties of plums and pluots. We still have wild blackberries for another week or so but this heat spell may contribute to the end of their season.
In the garden we are starting to get tomatoes.The gardens are also producing cherry tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers, squash, peppers and eggplant.

At the Farm Stand we are selling:
Peaches:  Gene Elberta, Fay Elberta, 49er
Cling Peach:  Bowen
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Friar, Eldorado, Kelsey, Laroda
Pluots: Flavor King, Flavor Queen, Dapple Dandy
Berries:  Wild Blackberries
Nectarines: Fantasia
Vegetables:  Summer squash, Lemon cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos
Other items: Hoshigaki strips, Calendula Suave, Good Stuff Jam, local honey

From other local farms:
Sunnyslope Farm:  Suncrest peaches, Candy Stripe pluots,
Pleasant Hill Farm:  Friar plums, Dapple Dandy pluot
Lovejoy Farm:  Sweet onions, eggs

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

PEACH SEASON


We have a few Red Haven peaches left then it's onto mid summer peach varieties.  These yellow and white freestone peaches are the gems of the summer.  We will be starting to harvest Gene Elberta, Suncrest, and Delight yellow peaches.  We are harvesting Nectar, Silver Logan and Sugar Lady white peaches.

Our peaches are delicious, yet they lack the blemish free look of those you see in the store.  It is the dilemma of not spraying for diseases and pests.  Our fruit is also on the small side due to our dependence on nutrition in the soil and not added chemical fertilizers which would stimulate growth.  Our crops escaped hail, frost, and intense wind damage so we have a good crop and are able to sustain our goal of donating fresh produce to the food bank twice a week.  Thank you to all our customers for being part of a bigger picture.


At the farm stand we are selling:
Yellow peaches:  Red Haven , Gene Elberta, Delight, and Suncrest
White peches:  Nectar, Sugar Lady, and Silver Logan
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Laroda, Black Amber, Frontier, Burgundy, Satsuma, and Eldorado
Pluots:  Dapple Dandy, Flavor King, and Flavor Queen
Berries:  Wild Blackberries
Nectarines:  Flavortop
Vegetables:  Summer squash, Zucchini, long beans, lemon cucumbers, Asian cucumbers, Japanese eggplants, and a few Shishito peppers, tomatillos, cherry tomatoes, and tomatoes.

Local farms are bring us:  Yellow and white peaches, Black Amber plums, Pink Grapefruit,

We also have local honey, calendula salve and lip balm, and Good Stuff Jam.

Please check our hours before coming.

Friday, June 24, 2016

WILD BLACKBERRIES

Wild blackberries have arrived!  Ours are hand picked from wild blackberry bushes on our non- spray orchard.  Wild blackberries have the traditional flavor that you recognize as blackberry.  They are smaller than the cultivated thorn less berries but higher in flavor. Normally their season lasts for three to four weeks. They are great for snacking and adding to your peach crisp or pie.

We now have new varieties of plums coming in from the orchard. My new favorite is Burgandy, a small, sweet, red-fleshed plum.  Other red fleshed plums we have are Frontier and Satsuma.  We still have a good supply of flavorful, sweet and fragrant Santa Rosa plums.  Just coming in are the Laroda and Black Amber plums.

There are several varieties of yellow and white peaches in our farm stand so come check them out.

Guess what?  We seem to have a good supply of summer squash! They are firm, shinny, fresh and oh so tender.  We also have cucumbers, beans, eggplant, basil and a few peppers and tomatoes.

Don't forget to get a $1 off coupon for your next shopping trip when your purchase is over $10.  In celebration of the 4th of July,  we will double your valid Otow Orchard coupon on July 1, July 2, and July 3, 2016 so you can get $2 off your purchase of fruits and vegetables on these days.



We have recipes for Black Amber plum pie, peach crip, peach cobbler, overnight cucumber pickles, Parmesan summer squash casserole and more.


Currently selling in the farm stand:
Peaches:  Flavorcrest, Red Haven, Regina, Frost, June Pride, PF Lucky 13
White peaches:  Sugar Lady, Babcock, Nectar
Yellow fleshed plums:  Santa Rosa, Laroda, Black Amber
Red fleshed plums:  Satsuma, Frointier, Burgandy
Pluots:  Flavor Supreme, Flavor Queen, Dapple Dandy
Nectarines:  Firecracker, Jade
Berries:  Wild Blackberries
Apricots:  Blenheim
Figs:  Black Mission
Eureka lemons, our local honey,  Good Stuff Jams, Calendula Salve and lip balm
Herbs:  Basil, rosemary, shiso, oregano, mint and thyme
Vegetables:  green and yellow summer squash, Asian cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, green beans, yellow wax beans,  and a few Japanese eggplant, sweet peppers, tomatoes and sungold cherry tomatoes
Hoshigaki:  grade B, hoshigaki strips

From Sunnyslope Farm in Granite Bay:  Yellow peaches and Donut peaches
From Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln:  Santa Rosa and Black Amber plums

Friday, June 17, 2016

4th of July

Otow Orchard offers a $1 off coupon on purchases of $10 or more.  This coupon can be used on your next shopping trip to the orchard.

SPECIAL FOR 4TH OF JULY
DOUBLE COUPON DAYS
3 DAYS ONLY
JULY 1, JULY 2, AND JULY 3, 2016

Bring your $1 off Otow Orchard coupon on July 1, July 2, or July 3, 2016  and we will give you $2 off your purchase of fruits and vegetables. (This offer excludes eggs, honey, plants, books, wood, lip balm, salve, and other non-produce items. Limit one coupon per shopping trip.  Must present coupon at time of purchase.  Not valid with other offers. Altered, copied or reproduced coupons will not be accepted.  Only original coupon will be accepted for this offer.  Coupon cannot be redeemed for cash.)

Buy fruits and vegetables for a healthy 4th of July celebration.

Monday, June 13, 2016

SANTA ROSA PLUMS

Santa Rosa plums and Flavorcrest peach
 SANTA ROSA PLUMS are the star of the show this week.  Sweet, juicy, tangy and high in flavor and fragrance.  Step into our farm stand to experience the natural aroma of an amazing plum.  Take a bite and you will know why it is the favorite of so many people.  While the supply lasts, whole trays (7 pounds or more) of Santa Rosa plums can be purchased at a discount.  Whole trays (7 pounds or more) of small Santa Rosas are further discounted for jam makers or people who don't mind the small size.
Meanwhile, the peaches are starting to show up. On the small side at this time but improving in the sweet, juicy and flavor areas.
Breakfast of Flavorcrest peach and Flavor Supreme pluot
IN THE FARM STAND:
FROM OTOW ORCHARD
Santa Rosa plums          Yellow freestone peaches       Flavor Supreme pluots    Hoshigaki strips     Red Beaut plums       Beauty plums       Blenheim apricots       Patterson apricots       Eureka lemons       Loquat       Figs
Vegetables:  Summer squash, beans, Japanese eggplant, cucumbers
FROM LOCAL CONVENTIONAL FARMS:
Donut peaches          Yellow and white freestone peaches      Santa Rosa plums        Blenheim apricots              Grapefruit


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

AT THE FARM STAND

Santa Rosa plums and Patterson apricots
Too much heat.  It's hard on us and hard on the trees.  It's one of the signs of summer along with peaches and plums.  We are now offering conventionally grown sweet and juicy Bon Jour peaches from Sunnyslope Farm. Bon Jour is a yellow freestone peach.
         We are starting to harvest Santa Rosa plums from our orchard.  These are known for their full flavor and fragrance. The slight tartness in the skin balances out the sweetness and flavor of this heirloom plum.  They are great for eating out of hand or making into jam.
Slowly our harvest of Red Haven, Regina, and Flavorcrest peaches is approaching.  And if we can exclude the birds and pests we will have some Jade white nectarines very soon.
We are now selling:
Red Beaut plums           Santa Rosa plums                 Loquat            Flavor Supreme pluots     zucchini
Eureka lemons       Blenheim apricots     Patterson apricots              peaches           hoshigaki strips    honey

Bon Jour peaches from Sunnyslope Farm
Yellow (white) grapefruit from Pleasant Hill Farm
Santa Rosa and Red Beaut plums from Pleasant Hill Farm
Eggs from Lovejoy Farm

Monday, May 30, 2016

STONE FRUIT AT THE FARM STAND


Stone fruit seems early this year.  Maybe it is the weather or maybe its our efforts to hold back on water.  We are already harvesting apricots, peaches, plums, and pluots.

Santa Rosa plums are just around the corner.

Ladybug chrysalis (cocoon) on green tomato.



Zucchini plants look happy to give us our first squash of the season.  They are so fresh and easy to cook.  Other vegetables seem to be at least a month away.





At the Farm Stand we are now selling:
Springcrest, Maycrest, and Junecrest peaches              Eureka lemons
Red Beaut plums                                                         Yellow grapefruit
                               Blenheim and Patterson apricots                                   Honey
                               Flavor Supreme pluots                                                 Loquat
                               Hoshigaki strips

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HARVEST IS STARTING

Salt curing for umeboshi.
Harvest is starting to come in, but we are still trying to modify irrigation to save water and labor.

If you are an ume fan, now is the time.  The window for processing ume is now open.  We have lots of conventionally grown ume.

Loquat and mulberries are being picked.  Peaches are coloring up. We are selling the first plums of the season and a limited supply of peaches.

Posted by Tosh

Comment by Chris:  In case you are wondering what to so with ume, there are great recipes for umeboshi, umeshu, and ume honey at the justhungry.com     website.

Friday, May 13, 2016

START OF A NEW SEASON

LOQUAT (BIWA)
LOQUAT ARE STARTING GET COLOR



Spring is giving way to summer.  Yesterday we harvested the first loquat. 

In a week we will have a few plums, peaches and apricots.  The emphasis is on the word FEW.

At the farm stand we are currently selling honey, Good Stuff Jams, Hoshigaki, dried peaches, dried figs, lemons and grapefruit. From other orchards we are selling oranges, Red Beaut plums and ume.

Our hours are:  Tues. through Sat.    10 AM to 6 PM
                                            Sun.    10 AM  to 5 PM
                                            Closed on Mondays

FROM THE TRACTOR SEAT

BIRD PROTECTION
EXCLUDING CHERRY VINEGAR FLY
It is going to be 90 degrees already.  Cherry Vinegar Fly wiped out our cherry crop.  If we are going to have any cherries in the future, we are going to have to bag every fruit.  Fruit is coloring up and birds are already pecking peaches.  Apricots are next.  Since we gave up spraying chemicals, there is a lot more life in the orchard, beneficials as well as pests.  From the farmer's standpoint the pests seem to be winning.
2015 UMEBOSHI WITH SHISO LEAVES
 Our ume harvest is finished. Loquat are next.

Every year there seems to be an introduction of a new pest or two.  As pests become resistant to every ag chemical the industry throws at them we will have to learn to eat wormy fruit.  It may gross us out but it may be our only alternative to starvation.  Pests are not going away.

See you at the orchard,  Tosh

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