Tuesday, February 27, 2018


      In the hot house we are tending  tender young tomato, eggplant and pepper plants.  With the freezing weather we have had, they needed lots of attention and are off to a slow start.  Nonetheless they are amazing.
     It has been a dry winter and we are celebrating the winter-like storms that are coming our way. We would love to have a year where water needs can be easily met.  But with the rains we have to hope the peach leaf curl is not too intense.  Many other orchardists are out spraying fungicides to protect their investment. We are hoping our orchard sanitation practices will significantly decrease disease pressures. 
      The ume (Japanese plums) blossomed and set weeks ago.  As a result of last week's freezing temperatures we see many shriveled ume on the trees.  We hope some will survive.

These are our Feb., Mar., and Apr. hours:  
TU, WED, THUR:  11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Fri, Sat:    10 am to 6 pm
Sun:          10 am to 5 pm
Mon: Closed
If you need to come at a different time, please call us at
(916) 300-0720 for an appointment.
Here's what we have in the farm stand now from Otow Orchard:
Navel oranges
Blood oranges
Yellow grapefruit
Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)
This is what we have from other producers:
Navel oranges from Pleasant Hill Farm
Eureka Lemons from Mihara Farm
Kiwi from Mihara Farm
Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm
Raw honey from Nastase  Honey Farm in Lincoln
Local honey from Top O'The Hill Apiary in Granite Bay
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


They say, when you have lemons, make lemonade.  Why stop there.  You could also make lemon meringue pie or lemon bars.  We have fresh lemons covered with fresh zest to add flavor to your lemon meringue pie.  Here is my mother's favorite recipe.

Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie
5  Tblsp cornstarch                 2 Tblsp butter
2   Tblsp flour                          1  Tblsp  lemon zest
1  cup sugar                              6 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
¼ to ½  tsp salt                For Meringue
2  cups warm water             3 egg whites
3 egg yolks beaten                6  Tblsp sugar
1 nine inch pie crust             1 Tsp lemon juice
                                                  ½ tsp lemon zest

Mix cornstarch, flour, sugar and salt.  Gradually add water, stirring constantly.  Stir slowly into beaten yolk and mix until smooth. Pour into top of double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Cook 5 minutes more until it just begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Do not let it burn or get lumpy.  Remove from boiling water, stir in butter, lemon zest and juice.  Cover and cool.  Pour into pastry shell. Cool.

Meringue:  Beat room temperature egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, juice and zest while continuing to beat.  Continue to whip until stiff and glossy.  Spread on cooled pie.  Spread to edge of crust. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Cool gradually away from drafts.
PLEASE NOTE: We are taking advantage of this slow season to take a vacation day.  We will be closed Thurs. March 1, 2018,  Otherwise these are our Feb., Mar., and Apr. hours:  
TU, WED, THUR:  11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Fri, Sat:    10 am to 6 pm
Sun:          10 am to 5 pm
Mon: Closed
If you need to come at a different time, please call us at
(916) 300-0720 for an appointment.
Here's what we have in the farm stand now from Otow Orchard:
Navel oranges
Blood oranges
Yellow grapefruit
Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)
This is what we have from other producers:
Navel oranges from Pleasant Hill Farm
Eureka Lemons from Mihara Farm
Kiwi from Mihara Farm
Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm
Raw honey from Nastase  Honey Farm in Lincoln
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Monday, January 29, 2018


Hours for February, March, and April are:
Tues., Wed., Thurs.  11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Fri., Sat.,  10:00 am to 6 pm
Sunday  10:00  am to 5:00 pm
Closed on Mondays
For other times, please call for an appointment.  (916) 300-0720
Reminder:  We are taking a one day vacation day.  We will be closed on Sunday Feb. 11, 2011.
          Fresh persimmons  have disappeared from our fruit stand but we have a supply of hoshigaki, dried persimmons. These are available in the fruit stand and by mail order.
         In the area of citrus we have mandarins, navel oranges, blood oranges, and grapefruit.  We also have Asian pears and kiwi. Barley Oats Farm is bringing us beautiful fresh winter vegetables. You can see these Fri., Sat., and Sunday at our stand  or go online to www.barleyoats.farm.
       We are busy during this slow time of year and also getting some rest.  In the orchard, trees are being pruned, mulch is being spread, and we are getting ready to prepare sites for planting new trees.  We are also making repairs on buildings and equipment, starting vegetable plants, and cleaning.  In the office we are putting together survey data, harvest reports and taxes.
        By the end of February we will see the orchard beginning to bloom as it prepares to grow fruit for the coming season. It is a beautiful site to see, so come for a walk and bring your camera.
Currently in the farm stand we are selling:
Mandarins and Kiwi from Mihara Farm in Newcastle
Oranges from Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln
From Otow Orchard:
Hoshigaki, dried persimmons
Blood oranges
Navel oranges
Yellow grapefruit (white)
Asian pears
Salve and Lip Balm
Jams from The Good Stuff
Winter Vegetables from BarleyOats Farm

Monday, January 15, 2018


        Sad to say, fall fruits are disappearing from our farm stand.  Citrus season is developing.  We now have mandarins from Otow Orchard.  By February we should have Blood Oranges and Navel oranges.
       We are still selling soft Hachiya persimmons and there is frozen pulp in our freezer.    Also from the fall season are Okusankichi Asian Pears.
       We will be finished squeezing hoshigaki this week.  Then they are headed to the freezer for curing.   Then we will pull them out and finish sorting and packing them as requested.  If you want to mail order hoshigaki please down load the order form from the home page of this web site.  Hoshigaki is also available at the farm stand.
        Out in the orchard the leaves have dropped and birds have gleaned any fruit left on the trees.  We are able to clean the trees and remove diseased leaves and mummy fruit.  During dry periods we are pruning trees. Signs of the next crop are beginning to show up.  We see spots of blossoming pink and white ume flowers in the orchard.  The bees are gleaning nectar when the weather permits.

Soft hachiya persimmons
Okusankichi Asian pears
Satsuma mandarins
Bees wax candles
Persimmon cook books
Calendula salve and lip balm
Honey from Nastasae farm in Lincoln, CA
Jams from The Good Stuff

On Thursday, Saturday and Sunday we have a fresh display of winter vegetables from BarleyOats Farm. We have bok choy, lettuce, broccoli, kale, radish, daikon, green onion, leeks, fennel and more.

Just a reminder: We are taking a one day vacation day, Sunday Feb 11, 2018. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017


We now have yummy mandarins coming into the fruit stand from Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln as well as our own.  They are both sweet and easy to peel, a great pick-me-up snack.  I like this healthy, juicy, alternative to the many sweets I have been devouring during the holidays.          It has been a long hoshigaki season.  With a few firm hachiyas still around, Tosh has been continuing to peel a few of them each week to see what kind of hoshigaki we can make.  Most of the remaining hoshigaki that are hanging on the racks are about finished with the drying processing. There should be enough to put away for extended sales. Hoshigaki are available in the farm stand.  We are continuing to accept mail orders for hoshigaki.
        We are finding only a few crisp Fuyu persimmons.  The cool weather has stimulated the ripening and softening of them.  Fuyu all seem to be headed for soft peach-like texture and are more sweet and juicy.
        Hachiya are also ripening.  They are transforming into soft, sweet globes for fresh eating and baking.
Hoshigaki: Japanese hand dried persimmons
Fuyu persimmons
Hachiya persimmons
Vodka persimmons
Maru persimmons (partially sweet)
Apples:  Granny Smith
Red pomegranates
Asian Pear:  Okusankichi
Satsuma mandarins
Calendula Salve
Bees wax candles
Persimmon recipe books

Winter Vegetables from BarleyOats Farm is taking a little break. Vegetables will soon be ready to harvest. Be sure to keep checking by visiting their web site: barleyoats.farm or giving us a call (916) 791-1656.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Peeled persimmons hanging in the sun.
Late nights and long hours, the whole farm is focused on making hoshigaki, that sweet, chewy, tasty dried persimmon.  Picking, sorting, peeling, hanging, squeezing, protecting from the rain, squeezing, moving, bagging, freezing, tossing, squeezing, sorting, and  packaging are some of the steps for making this delicacy.  The persimmons we peeled in October are now for sale in the farm stand.  Now that the weather has turned cooler, we should start to get more tender hoshigaki. If you need hoshigaki to be sent out, please fill out the mail order form and mail it to us with your check.  Hoshigaki is available at the farm stand in limited grades.  If you want premium hoshigaki, it is best to call ahead (916) 791-1656 or email to inquire or reserve. 

Fuyu persimmons are in the height of their season.  For crisp, sweet fruit, now is the time to enjoy. Soon the weather will get too cold and the fuyu will start to get more tender.  Hachiya persimmons like the cold temperatures and start to soften more quickly.  It is those soft, pudding-like hachiya that are so good for fresh eating, cookies, puddings, or topping for yogurt or ice cream.

This has been a disappointing year for chocolate persimmon lovers. 
Perhaps there was too much rain last spring during pollination time.  The crop is very light and late.  The sweetness may be limited to just half or less of the fruit.

Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays we have fresh harvest of winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farms.  Fall in love with your greens all over again. You may also special order vegetables by visiting the Barley Oats farms web site and pick up your order at the farm stand.  We see fresh beets, kale, bak choi, lettuce, peas, radish, beets, cilantro, kohlrabi, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, leeks, green onions and more at the farm stand.

Here is what is available in the farm stand:

Persimmons: Fuyu, Hachiya, Gyombo, Nagamaru, and Vodka
Asian Pears:  Shinko, Okusankichi
Apples: Granny Smith, Fuji, Reinette Simerenko, and Pink Lady
Pomegranates:  Wonderful red, White
Local honey from our orchard
Persimmon cook books
Beeswax candles: 100% beeswax, they burn for 100 hours
Calendula lip balm and salve

2018 Master Gardener Calendars

From Barley Oats Farms: a beautiful array of winter vegetables

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall Fruits and Vegetables

We now have more fuyu persimmons at the fruit stand.  Fuyu are the type of persimmon that are edible and sweet when they're firm.  We also have more of the maru and nagamaru (or chocolate) varieties of persimmons.  A limited amount of soft and ripe hachiya persimmons is available. Other fruit for sale includes  Asian pear, comice pear, pomegranates, apples (Fuji and Reinette Simerenko) and jujube.

New vegetables at the fruit stand are fresh and tender bok choy, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, scallions and cilantro from Barley Oats Farms.  Barley Oats has started using a space at our orchard to grow fall and winter vegetables with organic practices. You can also order vegetables from Barley Oats Farms online and arrange to pick up at the fruit stand. Other available vegetables grown at our orchard gardens are sweet peppers (feher ozon, sweet chocolate, crest, banana, shishito), chile peppers (jalapenos, aji limon, cayenne, fish), cucumbers, tomatillos, okra and winter squash (kabocha, butternut and delicata).   

Just outside the fruit stand you can see the hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) drying process.  We've been busy peeling new persimmons, stringing them together and hanging them on outside racks to dry. In the photo Chris is peeling persimmons and her mother, Helen, is in the background stringing them.  Visitors are welcome to stop by and see the process, although hoshigaki is not yet for sale at the fruit stand. We just started peeling persimmons for hoshigaki a few weeks ago and the process takes at least 4 weeks.  If you'd like to order hoshigaki we always recommend that people make orders as early as possible.  This is because each season's supply is limited to what we can produce while the weather works in our favor.

To order hoshigaki for pick up at the fruit stand, please stop by or call us.  To order hoshigaki through mail order, please fill out our mail order form and send it in with a check.  We don't take credit cards for mail orders or at the fruit stand.     

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Hoshigaki Mail Orders

This season's hoshigaki mail order form is now up on our website.  You can find the link to it here or look for it under the website's hoshigaki/persimmon tab.  To order hoshigaki (Japanese massaged hand-dried persimmons) by mail order, please print out the form, fill it out and then mail it to us with a check for payment.  We are unable to take credit cards.

We started peeling persimmons this week to begin the hoshigaki drying process.  The drying process takes an average time of six weeks. Each persimmon fruit is hand-peeled, then strung together in a pair on a stick.  The sticks of strung persimmons are first placed on a rack in the sun to dry.  After the persimmons dry for a week or so, the sticks are moved inside to a more protected area.  Regular massaging happens throughout the weeks to help the hoshigaki dry evenly and remain a soft texture.  Towards the end of the drying process the hoshigaki naturally develop a light dusting of powdery sugar on their surface.

If you'd like to order hoshigaki by mail, we recommend that you send in your order as soon as possible.  Earliest orders ship out first and the drying season is weather-dependent.  Each season's supply is limited to what we can produce while persimmons are hard enough to peel and the weather is conducive to drying.  If you live close enough to pick up hoshigaki at our fruit stand, you can stop by or call us to place an order. 

Visitors to the fruit stand are welcome to look around and see the drying process.  Visitors are also welcome to walk out in the orchard and take a self-guided tour, but we're not a pick-your-own operation.  The fruit stand is open from 10-6 Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 10-5 Sundays.  Mondays we are closed. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017


     Along with apples, Asian pears and pomegranates, we are harvesting jujube.  This ancient fruit has crisp texture, edible skin, and a sweet-tart flavor like an apple. They are just the right size for snacking. They can be eaten from yellow to brown or even dried and wrinkled.  They contain many vitamins and minerals and are especially rich in vitamin C.  People have been known to eat jujube for a sore throat and other health benefits. I hope you will come try a few.

      At this time of year, many of our customers are starting to look for persimmons: fresh or dry, crisp or soft, orange, yellow, brown or sugary.  We are also waiting for the season to get going.  We see color on the fruit but most are still showing some green.  Another lesson in patience.

If you are interested in mail ordering hoshigaki this year, please check our web site after mid October for the mail order details.  This year we will not be sending out email reminders to past customers.  We are trying to be more efficient with our time and energy. Also, last year produced less hoshigaki than was requested so our energy needs to focus on the process not the emailing.  Check the web site, get your check and order form to us in the mail.  While on this topic, let me talk about cost.  While shipping and handling has been increasing, the price we charge for hoshigaki has remained the same since 2013.  This is not sustainable for us so you will see a rise in price this year.  For customers picking up hoshigaki at the farm stand,please call about availability and make your order.

From Otow Orchard:
Asian Pears:  20th Century, Shinko,Yoi, Yali, Olympic
European Pears:  D Anjou
Pomegranates:  White and pink pomegranates
Apples:  Fuji, Reinette Simerenko
Jujube: Li Jujube

Tomatoes:  very limited supply
Cherry tomatoes:  Sungold
Summer squash: yellow and green zucchini
Winter squash: Kabocha, Delicata
Cucumber: limited supply
Peppers:  sweet peppers
Chile peppers:  Aji Limon, Jalapenos, Feher Ozon, Shishito

From Sunnyslope Farm:
Fresh chestnuts

Also available:  Honey, 100% Beeswax Candles, Good Stuff Jam, Calendula Salve and Lip Balm, 2018 Placer County Master Gardeners Calenders, Firewood

Monday, September 11, 2017


Asian Pear season is upon us.  Asian pears are eaten when firm like an apple. We have several different varieties.  20th Century (Nijiseiki) is a sweet, yellow, crisp and juicy variety that is very popular in Japan.   New Century (Shinseiki) is a large round yellow pear that is crunchy and sweet.  Yali is shaped like a Bartlett pear but has the crisp, sweet and juicy texture of an Asian pear.   Yoi is a very sweet, crisp, juicy and almost caramel flavored pear. Shinko Asian pears are sweet, juicy and have a nice crunch.  If you can't decide which pear you would like, please ask for a sample.  On the horizon are pomegranates, jujube, persimmons and quince.

From Otow Orchard:
Peaches:  a few Late Alamar and Summerset
Plums:  Casselman
Asian Pears:  20th Century, New Century, Yoi, Shinko, Yali
European Pears:  Bartlett
Pomegranates:  a few white pomegranates
Apples:  Red Delicious, Golden Delicious
Figs:  Black Mission, Brown Turkey, White Figs, Green figs
Jujube: Li Jujube

Vegetables:  Tomatoes, Summer squash, Winter squash (Kabocha, Delicata),      Eggplant, Cucumber, Tomatillos, Long Beans, Peppers (sweet peppers, chile peppers), Okra, Basil

Also available:  Honey, 100% Beeswax Candles, Good Stuff Jam, Calendula Salve and Lip Balm, 2018 Placer County Master Gardeners Calenders

Monday, August 21, 2017


       We are now harvesting some of our favorite peaches:  Fay Elberta, Rio Oso Gem and O'Henry. If you haven't made peach pie, peach cobbler, peach crisp, peach jam or had a peach smoothie lately better do it before it is too late.  Most of our peaches will be gone in a month's time; not to return until next June.
       We seem to have a rainbow of figs this season:  Brown Turkey, Black Mission, Green figs and Yellow figs.  The Red Purlet grapes are finished and we have started harvesting those delicious, big, juicy, purple grapes called Kyoho.  Remove the stem and squeeze the sweet, juicy round flesh right into your mouth.  Then spit out the seed.  These are delicious and fun to eat. We are also harvesting Thompson seedless grapes.
        Pear season is here.  Whether you want a nice smooth Bartlet pear or a crisp, juicy Asian pear, they are both waiting for you.

From Otow Orchard:
Peaches:  Fay Elberta, Rio Oso Gem, O'Henry
Plums:  Kelsey, Casselman, Empress, Eldorado
Figs:  Brown Turkey, Black Mission, Green figs, Yellow figs
European Pears:  Bartlet
Asian Pears:  Hosui, Yoi, New Century, 2oth Century
Vegetables:  Tomatoes, Asian cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Armenian
       cucumbers, Long beans, Okra, Chilis, Sweet Peppers, Zucchini, Tomatillos,
       Delicata winter squash
Herbs:  Basil, Rosemary
Frozen wild blackberries

From Sunnyslope Farm in Granite Bay
Peaches:  Alberta, O'Henry
Pluots:  Flavor Grenade, Candy Stripe

From Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln
Asian Pears:  Hosui

Also available:
Salve, Lip Balm
Good Stuff Jam
100% Beeswax candles

Coming soon: 2018 Master Gardener's Calendar

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


 Peaches, plums and pluots have been in short supply this year due to all that wonderful rain we had during the blossom season.  While there are still green (immature) peaches on the trees, there are not many of them. We expect to continue picking peaches as they mature for the next 3 to 5 weeks.  Tosh said "It's not over till it's over."
          Meanwhile, the fall crops are starting to perform.  The second crop of figs is here as are grapes, apples and Asian pears.  Some Bartlet pears have been harvested and we are holding them till they show some yellowing.
Gardens are still producing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and tomatillos.  If you haven't tried gazpacho (recipe on July 28, 2017 entry) there is still time.
         This summer we have been able to offer more variety and quantity of produce with the help of local conventional farmers.  Our neighbor, Sunnyslope Farm, has been generously bring us big, sweet, and juicy peaches and pluots.  We also have plums and Asian pears from Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln.

Here's what you'll find in the farm stand:
Otow Orchard:
Peaches: 49er, Fay Elberta,  clings
Plums:  Eldordo, Kelsey,
Pluots:  Dapple Dandy, Flavor King, Flavor Queen.
Frozen wild blackberries
Asian Pears: Hosui, New Century
Apples:  Gala
Grapes: Red Purlett
Vegetables:  tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatillos, okra, sweet and
          hot peppers, long beans, and eggplant.
Herbs:  Basil, Rosemary

Sunnyslope Farm:
Peaches:  Suncrest, Zee Lady, Elberta
Pluots:  Candy Stripe, Flavor Grenade

Pleasant Hill Farm:
Asian Pears
Plums:  Friar, and Casselman.

Also available:  Calendula Salve, Honey, Beeswax candles, eggs, Good Stuff Jams, and Firewood.

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