Sunday, May 1, 2016

Regular Hours & Tomato Plant Sale

We're now back to our regular hours at the Fruit Stand.  We  will now be open from 10 o'clock to 6 o'clock, Tuesday through  Saturday, and on Sunday will be open from 10 to 5.  Mondays the Fruit Stand is closed. 

At the fruit stand now, we have navel oranges, lemons, grapefruit, hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons), Good Stuff jam, local free-range eggs and tomato plants for sale.  The tomato plants are plants that started by seed ourselves. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

First Day Of Spring

 The Farm Stand will be closed for one day to recognize a significant day in the life of the owner.
Regular March April hours will resume on Tues, Mar. 22.
March and April Hours:
Tu, Wed, Th     11:30 to 1:30
Fri, Sat    10:00 to 6:00
Sun   10:00 to 5:00

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

During March and April our fruit stand hours change during the weekdays.

Here are our March and April hours:

Tues., Wed., Thurs.--11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Although these are our scheduled fruit stand hours, we are usually somewhere around the orchard.   Feel free to call and ask for another time to stop by if the limited times during the weekdays don't work for you.

At the fruit stand we now have:

  • Navel Oranges
  • Cara Cara Oranges
  • Meyer Lemons
  • Eureka Lemons
  • Yellow Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Hoshigaki (Japanese Hand-dried Persimmons)
  • Eggs (from local pastured chickens)
  • Jam from The Good Stuff
Right now it's a nice time to come visit and take a walk in the orchard.  As you can see in the photo above, cherry trees are budding out, pink-flowered peach trees are blooming and the white-flowered plums and pluots are finishing their blossoming.

We've been busy out in the orchard altering the irrigation to try and water more efficiently.  This spring we're changing most of the orchard's drip irrigation from micro sprayers coming up from the ground to drippers that will hang from the trees.  Tosh has continued to take out unproductive  trees and we didn't plant any new trees this year.  The past few years' practice of removing trees without planting new ones has resulted in quite a few empty areas in the orchard.  We hope to be able to replant them if the severe drought ends.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hoshigaki Now Only Available at the Fruit Stand

We are discontinuing mail orders for the season because our supply of hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons) is running low.  Hoshigaki is now for sale only at our fruit stand.   We plan to have hoshigaki for sale at the fruit stand until this year's supply is finished.   At the beginning of October we'll have the new 2016 season mail order form up on our website for people to send in with orders for next year's hoshigaki.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Update

We're happy there has been more rain this Fall and Winter.  The orchard is looking greener and less dusty, although the empty spots with no trees show the effects of the drought.  Look at the link here to see a photo of last January at this time to compare.  We hope the rains continue and the orchard can get a chance to recover this year.  Pruning, irrigation maintanance and garden prep work have been keeping us occupied outside.  On rainy days we try to package hoshigaki and do yearly cleaning and organizing.

Jam made from our Santa Rosa plums recently won an award at the 2016 Good Food Awards in San Francisco.  Janet, from The Good Stuff makes jam from local fruit in the Sacramento area, including some fruit from our orchard.  She won in the preserves catagory for her "Best Plum Jam" which was made from our Santa Rosas.

We are still taking mail orders for hoshigaki.  We'll continue sending out mail orders until this season's supply runs out or the weather  gets too warm. 

Here's what you'll find at the fruit stand now:

  • Hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons)
  • Navel Oranges
  • Blood Oranges
  • Satsuma mandarins
  • Meyer Lemons
  • Kiwi
  • Quince
  • Local free-range Chicken Eggs, 
  • Jam from The Good Stuff (including "Best Plum Jam")
  • Persimmon cookbooks 
  • Firewood (by the bundle or truck full)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hoshigaki Orders

Obaachan hangs freshly peeled persimmons as Mocha sleeps in the sun.
We're still taking orders for hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons) through mail order and for pick up at the fruit stand.  If you'd like to order hoshigaki through mail order, print out the mail order form to send to us.  At the fruit stand we have various grades of hoshigaki for sale in different quantities.  If you'd like to pick up more than a few pounds of hoshigaki at the fruit stand, please call us ahead of time and let us know, so we can set it aside for you.  

Please get hoshigaki orders in as soon as possible, since we fill orders as we receive them and supply is limited to what we're able to dry in a season.  We stopped peeling new persimmons this week because most of the hachiya had gotten too soft to peel.  Since we're not able to peel and start any new persimmons for the hoshigaki drying process, the persimmons left drying now make up the end of this year's hoshigaki supply.  In the colder weather, the persimmons take longer to dry, so we expect to be drying these last persimmons at least into the middle of January.  Next year sometime in October we expect to begin the process again.  Also, we have stopped shipping out fresh persimmons through mail order because they are not firm enough to ship without damaging. We are still taking mail orders for mandarins.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mandarins and Fuyu Persimmons

Mandarins are now at the fruit stand.  We have them for sale by the pound and in bags. The season started a bit early this year, but the fruit is sweet and flavorful.  The Mountain Mandarin Festival will take place next week, from Friday, Nov. 20th through Sunday, Nov. 22nd in Auburn at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.  There are lots of different activities and it's a good way to meet and support local farmers.

At the fruit stand we still have lots of fuyu persimmons, also for sale by the pound or by the bag.  Fuyu persimmons are the type that you can eat when they're firm like an apple.  With the weather getting colder lately the fuyu are likely to start softening, so if you like them firm now is a good time to come get them.  When the fuyu become softer (more like a peach texture) we won't be able to sell them by the bag anymore.

Hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons) are for sale at the fruit stand.  If you'd like to reserve a large amount of hoghigaki to pick up at the fruit stand, please call us ahead of time.  You can also order hoshigaki through mail order.  Other produce at the fruit stand includes maru (chocolate) persimmons, vodka-treated hyakume persimmons, hachiya and gyombo persimmonsOkusankichi Asian pear, red pomegranates, Granny Smith and Fuji apples and winter squash.  We also have honey from bees at our orchard, The Good Stuff jam and persimmon cookbooks.

Friday, October 30, 2015

So Many Fuyu

Right now there are so many fuyu persimmons at the fruit stand that we are having a sale.  If you buy two large bags, you get one large bag free.  Buy two small bags of fuyu, and get one small bag free. Fuyu persimmons are sweet when they're firm and have the texture of apple.

We still have other types of persimmons, such as hachiya, maru (chocolate), vodka-treated hyakume and early season hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon).  Other fruit at the fruit stand include Asian pears, pomegranates and jujubes.

If you would like to pick up larger amounts of hoshigaki at the fruit stand, please call ahead and we will set it aside for you.  You can also order hoshigaki through mail order by sending us the order form (found under the "hoshigaki/persimmons" tab at the top of the site).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Persimmon Time

Persimmons on the Drying Racks  
We've been very busy at the orchard with persimmon harvest and all aspects of drying persimmons for hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon).  Sorting, peeling, hanging, massaging, packing and shipping of persimmons is keeping all of us occupied.  Now is a good time to come and see the hoshigaki drying process.  Visitors are welcome to come to the orchard during the fruit stand's open hours to see the different stages of drying persimmons. Although we are not a "pick your own" operation, people are always welcome to just take a walk and tour the orchard on their own.    

We have lots of fuyu, hachiya and other fresh persimmons for sale at the fruit stand. Firm and sweet fuyus are available by the bag as well as trays of soft hachiya.  We also have maru and nagamaru (chocolate) persimmons, vodka-treated hyakume persimmons.  Other produce at the fruit stand includes Asian pears (shinko and okusankichi varieties), pomegranates (red, white and pink), apples (Granny Smith, Fuji), jujube, winter squash (kabocha, butternut), basil and other herbs. Persimmon cookbooks and the 2016 Placer County Master Gardeners calendar are also for sale.

Some of the first early season hoshigaki is also available in small quantities at the fruit stand.  If you'd like to pick up a larger quantity of hoshigaki it's best to call us and order ahead of time.  To have hoshigaki or fresh fruit delivered through mail order, print out our mail order form and send it to our address with a check.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hoshigaki Mail Orders

Freshly peeled hachiya persimmons drying for hoshigaki.
The new 2015 Hoshigaki Mail Order Form is now posted here on the website, under the Hoshigaki/Persimmons tab.  If you'd like to mail order hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) this year, please print out the mail order form and mail it back to us. You can also order fresh fruit shipments from our orchard using this form. This year our time frame for shipping fresh persimmons has been shortened because the fruit is ripening more quickly due to effects of the drought.

We started peeling the first hachiya persimmons to dry for hoshigaki about two weeks ago.  Peeling is the first step in the hoshigaki drying process.  The hachiyas need to be fully orange, but still hard enough to peel.  After peeling, each fruit takes around six weeks to dry, depending on the weather.  The peeled fruits are hung by their stems in pairs and massaged every few days to help them to dry evenly.  By the end of the drying process, each persimmon has developed a dusting of natural powdered sugar on its surface, and is soft and sweet.

Please keep in mind that because of these natural processes and weather variables, orders may take 8 to 10 weeks to ship.  The first hoshigaki for this season has not yet finished drying and we fill orders in the order in which we receive them.  It's important to get your order in as soon as possible, because supplies are limited to what we can dry while the weather allows.  When the persimmons are too soft to peel we must stop drying new ones. Also, this year our supply of persimmons is more limited because of the drought. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015


We now have almost every variety of persimmon from the orchard at the fruit stand.  We have fuyu, hachiya, marunagamaru and vodka-treated hyakumeFuyu is a non-astringent variety that is sweet when firm.  Hachiya is a variety that is astringent until it's as soft as jello, but then it's very sweet. 

Maru, nagamaru and hyakume are all pollination varient varieties, meaning that if the fruit was pollinated it will be brown and sweet inside when firm.  If the fruit wasn't pollinated, it will be only orange inside and to eat it you must wait for it to soften to become sweet.  The vodka that we treat the hyakume with takes away any astringency the fruit might have had, so vodka-treated hyakume is always sweet.

Also at the fruit stand we have Asian pears, apples (red delicious, golden delicious, fuji, reinette simerenko, granny smith), pomegranates (white and red), winter squash, tomatillos, sweet and hot peppers and honey.

Izu, Fuyu, Nagamaru, Nishimura Wase, Maru, Hyakume, Hachiya and Gyombo (back to front)

Monday, September 14, 2015


     For us it has been very warm and challenging summer.  The drought continues to impact our growing practices with daily decisions and conversations about water use.  We have been busy cleaning up trees that did not survive the drought.  It is sad for me to see these trees gone since my father planted many of  them 40 or more years ago. They were trees with old wood and tasty fruit but because of their age were weak and decaying for many years.
        As much as we want to hang on to the summer fruits, the season is pushing us into fall. We are still harvesting late season peaches.  These are firm sweet tasty peaches.  Asian Pears and apples are filling our display tables as are peppers and winter squash.  A definite sign of fall is the appearance of early varieties of chocolate persimmons.  Fuyu and hachiya persimmons are starting to show some color on the trees.  Harvest will be sometime in October.

Here's what's at the farm stand now:
Peaches:  Summer Set, Late Alamar
Plums:  Casselman, Elephant Heart
Asian Pears:   Shinko, Yoi, Olympic, Yali
Apples:  Red Delicious, Golden Delicious (Otow Orchard)
               Mutsu, Fuji (Sunnyslope Farm)
Persimmons:  Coffee Cake, Maru, and Nagamaru (also called Tsurunoko or chocolate)
Jujube:  Li
Pomegranates:  white
Vegetables:  Sweet and hot peppers,  limited supply of okra, eggplant and basil
Winter Squash:   Kabocha, Butternut, Delicata
Bee Products:  honey, beeswax candles
Campfire wood

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