Thursday, August 9, 2018

MERGING SEASONS


Is it still summer?  Well, yes.  The farm stand is selling peaches, plums, pluots, and tomatoes.  Is it fall?  Well...yes.  The farm stand is selling Asian pears, apples, grapes, and the second crop of figs.

We still have a good supply of plums and are still harvesting our small supply of peaches.  A big thank you to Sunnyslope Farm for bringing their peaches to the our farm stand this summer.  Without Sunnyslope Farm, the peach sales would have been almost non-existent.

If you have never tasted a green plum, please ask for a sample.  The Kelsey plum is wonderfully sweet.

Amazingly, Veronica is still harvesting wild blackberries. This harvest usually does not extend into August as it is doing this year.
 
Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.
 May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Yellow Freestone Peaches:  49er, Gene Elberta, Fay Elberta
Cling Peaches:  Bowen
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Frontier, Burgundy, Eldorado, Laroda, Red Roy, Kelsey, Late Santa Rosa
Wild Blackberries

Grapes:  Kyoho, Thompson Seedless
Asian pears:  Kosui, Hosui
Apple:  Gala
Figs:  Brown Turkey, Green, and Black Mission
Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) No longer available though Mail Order.
Herbs:  basil, rosemary, mint
Calendula Salve
Honey from Otow Orchard
Vegetables: Zucchini, Yellow squash, Asian cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Okra, Japanese eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Tomatoes, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Tomatillos, Long beans


This is what we have from other producers:

Yellow peaches from Sunnyslope Farm:  Elegant Lady, Zee Lady, Elberta

Apples from Sunnyslope Farm:  Gala
Jams from The Good Stuff
Onions and Potatoes from BarleyOats Farm







Saturday, July 28, 2018

DIRT TOMATOES

"Do you have dirt tomatoes?" the customer asked.
"What do you mean?" I responded.
"Dirt, you know, are the tomatoes grown in the ground as opposed to hydroponically."
"Now a days, that's a very good question" I said.  "Yes, all our tomatoes are grown in the ground, under the sun, in actual dirt." We have no hothouse, greenhouse or hoop house.  We use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides on our tomatoes.  You might say we have "Old fashion" tomatoes. They seem to be enjoying this hot weather more than we are.  They have just the right texture and mouth watering taste. They are firm and juicy.  Now is the time for tomato sandwiches, BLT, and gazpacho. You can find my mother's gazpacho recipe on last years post of 7/28/2017.
       Finally, if not for a short time, there are peaches in the farm stand. We are harvesting yellow peaches including Fay Elberta. However, the bounty of years past seems to be lacking. To add to our supply of peaches, Sunnyslope Farm is bringing us big beautiful and juicy yellow peaches.
      We continue to have several plum varieties and Asian pears are starting to show up. We still have wild blackberries which normally disappear by the beginning of August.

Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.
 May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Yellow Freestone Peaches:  Suncrest, 49er, Gene Elberta, Fay Elberta
Cling Peaches:  Bowen
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Frontier, Satsuma, Burgundy, Eldorado, Laroda, Red Ace,
             Red Roy, Kelsey, Late Santa Rosa
Wild Blackberries
Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) No longer available though Mail Order.
Herbs:  basil, rosemary, mint
Calendula Salve
Honey from Otow Orchard
Vegetables: Zucchini, Yellow squash, Asian cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Okra, Japanese eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Tomatoes, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Tomatillos

This is what we have from other producers:

Yellow peaches from Sunnyslope Farm:  Suncrest, Elegant Lady, Zee Lady
Jams from The Good Stuff
Onions and Potatoes from BarleyOats Farm
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Monday, July 16, 2018

SMALLER PEACH HARVEST

Summer is in full swing.. At least weatherwise.
Our harvest has been extremely small.  Some days we have peaches and on others we ration them and still run out.  PLEASE CALL AHEAD if you are traveling a distance for peaches.  The plums have been very good. Can't get them like this at the store.  All the fruit set on the trees have been lacking this year.  Must be the climate change that some say we are not experiencing.  The blossoms didn't all come on at once as they usually do. Rather blooming came in stages over time.  Naturally it seemed to rain every time new blossoms opened up.  We attribute that to the lack of chill hours during the dormant season. Farming is certainly "faith-based".  There are too many factors that all the man-made chemicals in the world can't control or remedy.  Tomatoes are just coming on.  Many home gardeners beat us to the table with their own home grown.  Zucchini and Asian cucumbers are doing great.  Who could imagine that cucumbers could be so good.  Thankfully Veronica battles the wild blackberry vines and I don't have to.  Lisa still brings us her eggs though the hot weather is not good for the chickens. Fred finished up his leafy greens and now has potatoes and onions.  His garden plot behind the shed looks abandoned, but by the end of the month he'll be getting it ready for his next winter garden.  Anatoliy has been bringing his honey.  I can't imagine his bees being very happy in our orchard as dry as it is.
With drip irrigation the beauty and serenity of the orchard is gone but we all need to do our part so there's water for everybody.
Posted by Tosh
Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.
 May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Yellow Freestone Peaches:  Delight, Suncrest, Frost, Gene Elberta

White Peaches:  Sugar Lady, Babcock, Nectar, Silver Logan
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Frontier, Satsuma, Burgundy, Eldorado, Black Amber, Laroda, Red Ace, 

             Red Roy,
Pluot:  Dapple Dandy
Wild Blackberries
Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) No longer available though Mail Order.
Herbs:  basil, dill, rosemary, mint
Calendula Salve

Honey from Otow Orchard
Vegetables: Zucchini, Yellow squash, Asian cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Okra, Japanese eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Tomatoes, Sungold cherry tomatoes, Long beans

This is what we have from other producers:


Yellow peaches from Sunnyslope Farm   
White peaches from Sunnyslope Farm
Jams from The Good Stuff

Onions and Potatoes from BarleyOats Farm
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Monday, July 2, 2018

PEACHES AND WILD BLACKBERRIES

        For the time being, the orchard is giving us peaches.  We are getting Red Haven and Flavorcrest. These are both yellow freestone peaches.  We anticipate a few white peaches will be coming in soon. 
        It is also plum season.  The famous Santa Rosa plum is now available.  These plum have real flavor!  They are sweet, tart and fragrant.   Just full of flavor and juice.  The sweetness and flavor overwhelm the tartness.  Kids and adults can't stop eating them once they have tried them.  We are starting to harvest Satsuma plums.  These are sweet and red fleshed.   A few Frontier plums and Burgandy plums are also available.
       Wild Blackberries happen only once a year.  Wild blackberries are a challenge to  harvest.  They are carefully selected from among thorny vines on what seems to be the hottest days of the year (even when you start at 6 AM).  And only the dark ones ready to lose their shine will be sweet.  Hope you can appreciate the time and skill needed to pick even one
basket of blackberries. The reward is great.

      Otow Orchard vegetables are arriving. We are getting zucchini, cucumbers, beans, okra, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant.  In the herb department you can request basil, dill, mint, and rosemary.

 May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Yellow Freestone Peaches:  Red Haven, Flavorcrest, Regina, Frost
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Frontier, Satsuma, Burgandy

Figs:  Black Mission
Apricots:  Royal Blenheim, Patterson
Wild Blackberries
Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) No longer available though Mail Order.
Herbs:  basil, dill, rosemary, mint
Calendula Salve

Honey from Otow Orchard
Vegetables: Zucchini, Yellow squash, Asian cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Yellow wax beans, Kentucky wonder green beans, Okra, Japanese eggplant, sweet peppers, and Sungold cherry tomatoes

This is what we have from other producers:


Yellow peaches from Sunnyslope Farm
White peaches from Sunnyslope Farm
Santa Rosa plums from Pleasant Hill Farm
Red onions from Lovejoy Farm
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm
Honey (wildflower) from Top O' The Hill Apiary 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WELCOME TO SUMMER

Welcome to summer.  While the temperature is letting us know that summer is here, we also see the arrival of some early peaches and wonderfully fragrant Santa Rosa plums. The harvest has begun and we see that the the crop of peaches and plums is light.  Call for an update if you are looking for a large quantity of fruit.  We are currently harvesting a few yellow freestone peaches, and plums.
         As you know, you can't always trust the information you find on the internet.  Every day we get phone calls asking if we allow people to pick their own fruit.  We have to tell them "NO, we are NOT a pick your own orchard."  Our harvesters are very skilled, respectful of our operation, covered by insurance, and have families to support.  That said, you are going to get the best product if you let them do what they have been well trained to do.  Besides, it is hot, dusty and weedy out in our orchard.  You are still welcome to go for a walk.
     With the warm weather, BarleyOats winter vegetable farm is taking a break.  Otow Orchard vegetables are arriving. Mostly zucchini! Gradually we are getting Asian cucumbers, beans and okra.  In the herb department you can request dill, oregano, and rosemary.

 May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Peaches : yellow freestone
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Frontier

Pluots:  Flavor Supreme
Valencia oranges

Hoshigaki (dried persimmons) No longer available though Mail Order.
Herbs:  oregano, dill, rosemary, mint
Calendula Salve

Otow Orchard Honey
Vegetables: summer squash, Asian cucumbers

This is what we have from other producers:

Blueberries from Sunnyslope Farm

Yellow peaches from Sunnyslope Farm
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm
Honey (wildflower) from Top O' The Hill Apiary


Monday, June 11, 2018

HAVE YOU TRIED A LOQUAT?

      We are now harvesting loquat. They are the little orange tropical fruit that indicates that summer fruit is on its way.  Between its fuzzy skin and smooth brown seed is sweet juicy flesh that often bring back memories of a neighborhood tree that kids were prone to frequent.  Peaches are starting to show up but rather inconsistently.  Some days we have them and some days we don't.  It is best to call ahead. 
        The mulberry crop has disappeared.  Something has been eating them off the tree before we get a chance to pick them.  We, along with many mulberry fans are very disappointed.  
       In the vegetable department we have a few winter vegetables from BarleyOats Farm.  Their season will be ending soon.  From the Otow Orchard gardens we are starting to harvest summer squash and beans.  We hope to have some Asian cucumbers in a week.

May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Loquat
Peaches (limited supply)
Eureka lemons 
Valencia oranges

Hoshigaki  (No longer available though Mail Order. )
Frozen Hachiya persimmon pulp  
Dried Asian pears
Calendula Salve Otow Orchard Honey 
Summer squash


This is what we have from other producers:
Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm
 Blueberries from Sunnyslope Farm
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm
Honey (wildflower) from Top O' The Hill Apiary

Monday, May 21, 2018

GETTING READY FOR SUMMER HARVEST


In a month, this peach may be ready to harvest.
       The irrigation is now on a regular schedule. Peach and plum thinning  is about finished. We are starting to thin pears, apples and quince.  And we are keeping our eyes open, anxiously waiting for summer fruit.  The birds are watching too. It is not always easy to stay more alert than the birds.  There are so many and they are so hungry.  The crop is light this year so in order to have any nice fruit to sell we need to use bird netting and bags to protect the harvest.
Persimmon blossom
         We currently have a very limited amount of cherries. I am sure they will be gone in a flash.  There is also a small crop of Pakistani Mulberries. We hope to start harvesting Loquat in about a week.
       Some people are asking about hoshigaki, dried persimmons.  Although we still have a good supply they are only available at the farm stand.  With the warm weather we are afraid they will melt if they have to travel long distances.

May to January Hours:
Tu to Sat:   10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

We will also be closed on Sunday June 10, 2018 

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow grapefruit
Eureka lemons
Valencia oranges 
Cherries (limited supply)
Mulberries (limited supply)

Hoshigaki  (No longer available though Mail Order. )
Dried figs
Salve and Lip Balm 
Otow Orchard Honey

This is what we have from other producers:
Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm
Red and Yellow onions from Lovejoy farm
Blueberries from Sunnyslope Farm
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm


Monday, April 30, 2018

WORKING VACATION FOR HONEY BEES



The honey bees have returned from their annual vacation.  They spent most of March in almond orchards then moved on to citrus groves.  Now they are back with us and starting to collect nectar from wildflowers and persimmon blossoms.

        So much of farming hinges on the weather we get.  Every year is different. At last it is warm enough to put tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in the ground.  The cucumber, okra, long bean, and squash seeds are starting to germinate. We see rows and rows of little green potential.
         Reminder: we are still on slow season hours through May 17:   Tu, Wed, Th 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.  Fri, Sat: 10 am to 6 pm. Sun:  10 am to 5 pm,  Closed on Mondays.  Regular season hours will start on May 18th, 2018.


Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow grapefruit
Eureka lemons
Valencia oranges

Hoshigaki  (No longer available though Mail Order. )
Dehydrated  figs
Salve and Lip Balm

This is what we have from other producers:
Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm
Local honey  from Top O'The Hill Apiary in Granite Bay

Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Friday, April 20, 2018

A LITTLE MORE CITRUS

In the orchard we are trying to keep up with the growing weeds.  Mowing, hoeing and  weed eating. We are also starting to thin peaches and plums (though there are not many).  With the extended rainy season came peach leaf curl as you can see in the picture.  Since we do not spray fungicides, our peach and nectarine trees are suffering.  We see only a small amount of fruit set.
       The vegetable plant starts are getting tired of their 4" containers.  As the weather warms and when we start irrigating the orchard, we will be transplanting tomatoes, peppers and eggplants into the ground where they will be happier.  The summer gardens are just getting started but there are still many fresh green vegetables coming out of Barley Oats' winter vegetable garden. 
        Our Slow Season hours have been extended a couple weeks.

         HOURS FROM NOW TILL MAY 17TH, 2018


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 leave a message at

(916) 300-0720 for an appointment.
May 18, 2018 we will resume our regular hours.
Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow grapefruit
Eureka lemons

Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)

Dehydrated  figs and Asian pears
Salve and Lip Balm

This is what we have from other producers:

Eureka Lemons from Mihara Farm

Winter vegetables from Barley Oats Farm

Local honey and comb honey from Top O'The Hill Apiary in Granite Bay

Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

AH CHOO

For those of you looking for local honey, we are now selling honey from 2 local apiaries.  Natase Farm in Lincoln is bringing us raw, unfiltered honey.  Top O' The Hill Apiary in Granite Bay is bringing us raw, filtered blackberry honey and wildflower honey.  Top O' The Hill Apiary is also selling comb honey for people looking for this unique product.  We also have lip balm and salve made from bees wax collected at Otow Orchard.
            Peach and plum blossoms are about done and we are watching for little tiny fruits.  Apple, pear and cherry blossoms are starting to push open.  Hope they survive the next rain storm.  Christy and I are starting to put seeds in our vegetable gardens and we are tending tomato, eggplant and pepper plant starts.
        


These are our April 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 leave a message at
(916) 300-0720 for an appointment.
May 1, 2018 we will resume our regular hours .
Here's what we have in the farm stand now from Otow Orchard:
Blood oranges
Yellow grapefruit

Eureka lemons
Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)
Pecans
Dehydrated  figs and Asian pears
Salve and Lip Balm
This is what we have from other producers:
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 an comb honey from Top O'The Hill Apiary in Granite Bay
Jams from The Good Stuff
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

IN THE HOT HOUSE

      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
Kiwi
Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)
Pecans
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

WE HAVE LEMONS

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
Kiwi
Hoshigaki  (Also available though Mail Order.  See home page)
Pecans
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




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