Wednesday, April 7, 2021

UME, GRAPEFRUIT, LEMONS AND HOSHIGAKI

        We are still in our slow season with modified hours. The farm stand is offering grapefruit, lemons, hoshigaki, eggs, jams and honey.  As the pandemic restrictions relax we are allowing a few small groups to walk in the orchard.

    It's time to think about ume, Japanese sour plums, which look more like apricots.  Whether processing with salt, sugar, alcohol or honey, it is a challenge.  If you are interested in ordering ume, please read carefully.  There is quite a bit of fruit hanging on the trees but there is also a lot of damaged fruit.  Wind, rain and hail blemished most of the fruit.  I will not be highly grading the ume this year. We will sell a modified field run grade (what we pick off the tree will be sold with


minimal sorting).  I have used blemished ume for my own purposes in the past.  The spots are mostly superficial with no effect on the taste. At this time the ume is still immature.  We will possibly harvest
from the end of April through mid-June.  If you will be picking up your order at the farm please call ahead so we can put your name on the list and prepare your order as the harvest proceeds.  For Mail orders, please use page 2 of the 2020 Mail Order form to send us your order information and check.  We ship 8 pounds of ume in a USPS priority mail box.  The cost is $111 per box.  This includes shipping and handling.

       Please keep checking this page on our web site for updates on ume.  We will let you know if we get conventional ume from other local producers. Give us a call or send an email if you have any questions.

       This has once again been a dry winter.  We are checking the irrigation system for maintenance and leaks.  All too soon we will have to start watering the trees.  Fruit thinning is just around the corner.  I can already see very small peaches and plums on the trees.

        We continue to process and sell hoshigaki, dried persimmons. These can be purchased at the farm or by sending us a mail order form.

Slow Season Hours started March 2, 2021.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hours remain the same.  But Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday hours are changed to 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. If you need to stop by outside of these hours you are welcome to contact us since we are often at the farm somewhere.   If we are near the farm stand we will answer the land line: (916) 791-1656. If we are out in the orchard or garden it is best to text or leave a message on my cell phone since I do not answer unrecognized calls.  (916) 300-0720.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

Tues, Wed, and Thurs      11:30  am to 1:30 pm
 
Friday and Saturday        10 am to 6 pm           
 
          Sunday         11 am to 5 pm

Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Hachiya persimmon pulp:   Frozen.  Used for  fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".  Great in smoothies and on cereal or yogurt.

Hoshigaki:  Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.  These were hand massaged and  dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks.

Grapefruit:  These are the yellow fleshed, very flavorful grapefruit. 

Eureka Lemons: deep yellow skin and tart juicy flesh.  🍋 Best  lemons to bring out the brightness desired in  lemonade and lemon meringue pie.

Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Dehydrated peaches

Herbs: fresh mint, rosemary, thyme, and sage



Here is what we have from other producers:

WoodRose Country Garden in Granite Bay: Fresh 🥗 Romaine Lettuce, Red Romaine. Red Leaf Lettuce, Butter Crunch Lettuce and green onions.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay:  Comb honey  can be used in tea, coffee, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, fruit salads and on toast or bagels.  Top of the Hill Apiary also has Bees wax. 🐝

Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln:  This Honey 🍯 is unfiltered and raw.

Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay:  🐔🥚  Eggs.  Egg production is up.  The hens are well rested and are happy with warmer weather and longer days. 🌞

Jams 🍑 from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, and Chili Blackberry.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

SLOW SEASON HOURS


We often recognize January or February as the beginning of a new year. Out in the orchard the new year is starting now. Buds are swelling on the bare fruit trees, soon there will be blossoms. The days are getting longer and the temperatures are starting to rise. Trees sense these as signals of the start for the crops we will be harvesting this summer and fall.  In the hot house, little tomato plants are starting to push out of their tiny seeds.

In the farm stand we are selling grapefruit, oranges lemons, kiwi, honey, jam and hoshigaki.  WoodRose Country Garden is bringing us fresh Romaine and also Red Leaf lettuce.

We continue to process and sell hoshigaki, dried persimmons. These can be purchased at the farm or by sending us a mail order form.

Slow Season Hours are starting March 2, 2021.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hours will remain the same.  But Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday hours will be changed to 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. If you need to stop by outside of these hours you are welcome to contact us since we are often at the farm somewhere.   If we are near the farm stand we will answer the land line: (916) 791-1656. If we are out in the orchard or garden it is best to text or leave a message on my cell phone since I do not answer unrecognized calls.  (916) 300-0720.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

Tues, Wed, and Thurs      11:30  am to 1:30 pm
 
Friday and Saturday        10 am to 6 pm           
 
          Sunday         11 am to 5 pm

Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Hachiya persimmon pulp:   Frozen.  Used for  fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".  Great in smoothies and on cereal or yogurt.

Hoshigaki:  Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.  These were hand massaged and  dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks.

Grapefruit:  These are the yellow fleshed, very flavorful grapefruit. 

Kiwi: 🥝 Sweet tart fruit, high in vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Pecans

Dehydrated peaches



Here is what we have from other producers:

WoodRose Country Garden in Granite Bay: Fresh Romaine Lettuce, Red Leaf Lettuce.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: Meyer lemons 🍋 are deep yellow with fragrant thin skin.  They are sweeter than common lemons. Used to brighten water, tea, poultry dishes and vegetables.  The rind is also used in food preparation .

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay:  Comb honey  can be used in tea, coffee, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, fruit salads and on toast or bagels.  Top of the Hill Apiary also has Bees wax. 🐝

Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln:  This Honey 🍯 is unfiltered and raw.  It is light and so delicious.

Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay:  🐔🥚  Eggs.  Egg production is starting to ramp up.  The hens are well rested and are happy with warmer weather and longer days. 🌞

Jams 🍑 from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, and Chili Blackberry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

MANDARIN SEASON

 We tried to keep persimmons on the table for sale last week. But to be honest, their season is past, no more firm, crisp persimmons  until October and November.  For those of you who need pulp, there is a supply of frozen persimmon pulp in our freezer.


Moving on with the seasons, it is time for citrus. We started with Satsuma mandarins. Just what the doctor ordered for natural vitamin C.  We are also getting navel oranges from Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln, CA and Meyer lemons from Lupi Farm in Granite Bay.


There are just a few late hoshigaki still hanging on the rack.  Many are still being processed.  We will have a good supply for spring and summer. We encourage people to continue to purchase and mail order them while the weather is cool.

Out in the orchard, trees are getting their winter pruning, mulch is being spread between the rows, and weeds are being pulled up under the grapes.  Part of the orchard is still asleep and other parts are starting to wake up.  Warm weather can be a problem since many varieties have not had their required chill hours for desired bud formations.

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Asian Pears:  Okusankichi:  Generally large, mildly sweet winter Asian pear. Crisp, juicy and refreshing.

Pomegranates: White and Red

Hachiya persimmon pulp:   Frozen.  Used for  fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".  Great in smoothies and on cereal or yogurt.

Quince: Usually only eaten when cooked and sweetener added.  Quince contain pectin and is used for jams, jellies, candy, and paste. Fragrant and flavorful.

Hoshigaki:  Dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.

Satsuma mandarins: Easy to peel, sweet and juicy with great flavor.

Bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard

Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Winter squash:  Kabocha

Walnuts

Pecans



Here is what we have from other producers:

Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln: Satsuma mandarins and Navel oranges

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: Meyer lemons are deep yellow with fragrant thin skin.  They are sweeter than common lemons. Used to brighten water, tea, poultry dishes and vegetables.  The rind is also used in food preparation .

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay:  Comb honey can be used in tea, coffee, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, fruit salads and on toast or bagels.  Top of the Hill Apiary also has Bees wax.

Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln:  This Honey is unfiltered and raw.  It is light and so delicious.

Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay:  Eggs (limited supply).

Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, and Chili Blackberry.

 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

NOW IT IS 2021

Here we go, 2021.  What will it bring us?  

Here on the farm we have begun winter pruning.  When it is wet we focus on persimmons because they are less susceptible to disease.  When we get a dry spell we can focus on stone fruit, such as peaches and plums.  Soon I will have to pull out my boxes of seeds and take inventory, then I'll study seed catalogues and the internet for the seeds I want.



The hoshigaki process continues.  One by one the remaining pieces are checked for dryness before heading to the freezer for stabilizing.  We had a long peeling and drying season and will have a good supply of hoshigaki in the coming months. Hopefully into the summer.  We continue to sell and accept orders for hoshigaki.  You can walk up to the farm stand to make your purchase.  If you will be purchasing more than 5 pounds we would appreciate a call or email ahead of time.  We continue to accept mail orders for hoshigaki.  Please go to the mail order link and send us your order form and check.  Tuesday through Sunday you can call us at (916) 791-1656 or email us at  otoworchard @yahoo.com.

    In the farm stand we have Asian pears, pomegranates and quince.  There are a few fresh persimmons.  At this point, none are hard and crisp.  They are are all very tender. 

        It is mandarin season.  They are just what the doctor ordered for natural vitamin C.  Tudsberry Orchard is bringing us 10 pound bags of sweet juicy mandarins.  We have a limited supply of red mandarins from Lincoln.  And soon we will be selling our own mandarins.  Come get a few pounds or pick up a bag.


 

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Asian Pears:  Okusankichi:  Generally large, mildly sweet winter Asian pear. Crisp, juicy and refreshing.

Pomegranates: White, Pink, and Red

Persimmons: Now at the end of their season, they are sweet soft and juicy. (limited supply)  

Hachiya persimmon pulp:   Frozen.  Used for  fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".  Great in smoothies and on cereal or yogurt.

Quince: Usually only eaten when cooked and sweetener added.  Quince contain pectin and is used for jams, jellies, candy, and paste. Fragrant and flavorful.

Hoshigaki:  Dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.

Satsuma mandarins: Sweet and juicy with great flavor.

Bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard

Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Winter squash:  Kabocha



Here is what we have from other producers:

Tudsberry Orchards in Loomis:  Sweet and Juicy Satsuma mandarins by the bag.

Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln:  red and yellow Satsuma mandarins (Limited supply).

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay:  Comb honey,  Bees wax

Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln:  Honey

Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay:  Eggs (limited supply).

Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

SAYING GOODBYE TO 2020

It's nearly Christmas then it will be nearly the end of 2020.   We are, as the world is, looking forward to a time when we can gather and hug our friends and families. Shake hands with the ones we meet.  And show our smile or frown. Yet we need to hang on for a few more months before we can be rest assured that those who need a hospital bed will have one.  And we can know that our current sacrifices have saved lives.

The farm stand continues to be open our regular hours. We ask customers to wear a face covering and social distance.  We are mostly outdoors, but I need to protect our workers from exposure to so many farm visitors.  We have been safe for nine months, help us to make it another six months.

Thank you all for patiently waiting in the hot summer and fall sun to be served at our little farm stand window.  And thank you now for patiently waiting in the wind and rain to be served at our little farm stand window. 

Fresh persimmons are about finished. We have to search to find Fuyu that have much firmness. They are now more sweet and juicy.  People are still enjoying  soft brown fleshed persimmons and  juicy vodka persimmons.  Now is the season for soft ripe hachiya and gyombo, so soft and sweet. Just right for fresh eating or baking.

Mandarins from Placer County growers have made their way to our farm.  Tudsberry Orchards in Loomis is bringing mandarins in a bag as well as some very big ones.  From Lincoln, we are getting small bags of red and yellow mandarins.

The hoshigaki process is still occupying much of our time off and night time hours.  Another week or so before we see the end of late night sessions.  We have almost caught up with the waiting list of people who ordered farm stand pick ups and mail orders for hoshigaki.   For the moment we will have enough for your requests, but there may be a delay in getting your hoshigaki because it is still in the works.  Tuesday through Sunday you can call for farm stand orders.

Hoshigaki mail orders can be done by printing out our mail order form and sending us a check.  Call (916) 791-1656 or email: otoworchard@yahoo.com for questions.

A few gift ideas:  Honey Bear honey, Comb Honey, Hoshigaki, Jams, Mountain grown mandarins.


HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Asian Pears:  Okusankichi:  Generally large, mildly sweet winter Asian pear. Crisp, juicy and refreshing.

Pomegranates: White, Pink, and Red

Fuyu persimmons: Now at the end of their season, they are sweet soft and juicy. It has a peach-like texture.  

Okusankichi: Not exactly a Christmas tree.


Maru, Hyakume persimmons:  these are brown fleshed persimmons.  The pollinated seeds influence the flesh to turn brown and sweet. If not fully pollinated there will be portions of the fruit that are puckery. 

Hachiya and Gyombo persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet.  Used for  fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".  Great in smoothies and on cereal or yogurt.

Vodka persimmon: This is the astringent Hyakume persimmon that has been treated with vodka to make it sweet. It may be eaten hard or soft.

Quince: Usually only eaten when cooked and sweetener added.  Quince contain pectin and is used for jams, jellies, candy, and paste. Fragrant and flavorful.

Hoshigaki:  Dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.
Bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Winter squash:  Kabocha, Red Kuri, and Butternut

Persimmon Pulp

Walnuts:  whole and shelled


Here is what we have from other producers:

Pleasant Hill Farm in Newcastle:  Red and yellow Satsuma mandarins. Conventionally grown.  



Tudsberry Orchards in Loomis:  Satsuma mandarins by the bag.  Also large and small sizes.

Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Comb honey,  Bees wax

Nastase Honey Farm, Lincoln:  Honey

Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay (limited supply).

Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Monday, December 14, 2020

HOSHIGAKI MAIL ORDERING RESUMED

      With the cooler weather, the hoshigaki seemed to relax and are becoming more tender.  This is good because it means we will have more very tender hoshigaki to sell.  And of course there will be some that will just stay firmer.

     So with that introduction, we feel that we can safely resume hoshigaki mail ordering.   New orders that we received now will probably be shipped near the end of this year.

      Please click  order form  to  make an order.

Friday, December 4, 2020

SUSPENDED HOSHIGAKI MAIL ORDERS

 WE ARE SUSPENDING SALES OF MAIL ORDER HOSHIGAKI.  There are still a lot of persimmons hanging in the drying room.  We are suspending since we are not sure of the resulting quality of the fruit still drying.  Stay tuned, we'll let you know.

The process seems bumpy this year.  Not drying as fast or drying too fast. The weather is too hot or too dry or not cold enough.  Was it poor pollination in the spring, extreme hot weather in the summer, or smoky air in the fall?  I can probably think of more reasons, not to mention my age and energy. 

In years past we have offered non premium quality or hoshigaki from other producers.  Let us figure out how much and what quality we have to offer in future sales.  Please be patient.  Over the years hoshigaki has taught us to be patient.  Maybe this is a test to see if I was a good student.

Check the What's New page on our web site to keep updated on the status of hoshigaki mail ordering.   You may email us for an update but we are not organized enough to keep a waiting list (the truth).

I feel that mail orders already received will be filled. We will contact you if we are unable to fill your order. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

PERSIMMONS AND MANDARINS

     For the moment, it is persimmon and mandarin season.  Hoshigaki is quickly coming along.

      During dry periods and as the leaves fall off, we are beginning winter pruning.  We are hoping for more of the wet stuff, as in rain.  

      Preparing hoshigaki for the season has dominated our time and minds.  It is coming along slowly as always.  Hoshigaki seems a little stubborn this year, perhaps due to the heat of the summer or the dry fall days.  Every year is different and we try our best to figure out the best way forward  for changing circumstances.   We are currently selling whole and strips of hoshigaki at the farm stand.   We are accepting mail orders to be added to the waiting list.  For mail orders please click on mail order form.  If you will be picking up your hoshigaki at the farm, please call (916) 791-1656 or email us at otoworchard@yahoo.com to make a preorder.

     

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Asian Pears:  Okusankichi:  Generally large mildly sweet winter Asian pear. Crisp, juicy and refreshing.

Apples:  Granny Smith: green skin apples, great for fresh eating and baking. Arkansas Black: dense sweet apple. Enticing deep red color (limited supply).  Pink Lady:  Crisp, sweet/tart (limited supply). Fresh eating and baking.

Pomegranates: White, Pink, and Red

Fuyu persimmons: Eaten like an apple, it is always sweet.  Usually eaten when firm. It gets sweeter and softer as it changes from yellow to orange.

Maru, Nagamaru, Hyakume persimmons:  these are brown fleshed persimmons.  The pollenated seeds infuence the flesh to turn brown and sweet. If not fully pollenated there will be portions of the fruit that are puckery. 
       Earlier, when customers asked for Maru persimmons, we told them we did not have much.  Maru are finally being harvested.  We waited a long time for these to get sweet.  Now the challenge is to harvest before all the birds in the county discover them.  "Sweet Tweet".

Hachiya and Gyombo persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet.  Used for fresh eating and baking.  These are the persimmons that are often referred to as "food of the gods".

Vodka persimmon: This is the astringent Hyakume persimmon that has been treated with vodka to make it sweet. It may be eaten hard or soft.

Quince: Usually only eaten when cooked and sweetener added.  Quince contain pectin and is used for jams, jellies, candy, and paste. Fragrant and flavorful.

Hoshigaki:  Dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface.
Bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri, Butternut

Persimmon Pulp

Walnuts:  whole and shelled


Here is what we have from other producers:

Pleasant Hill Farm in Newcastle:  Red and yellow Satsuma mandarins. Conventionally grown.


Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Comb honey,  Bees wax

Nastase Honey Farm, Lincoln:  Honey


Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay (limited supply).


Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Maru persimmons on the tree

Persimmons drying in the hot house

Thursday, November 26, 2020

HOSHIGAKI FATIGUE

 DG (Dried persimmons sold in a gift box)  HAS SOLD OUT FOR THE SEASON.  We used up the gift boxes and do not plan to order any more.  The hoshigaki in the DK and DG are the same quality hoshigaki and like I have always said, "you can't eat the box".  Originally the hoshigaki was sold in bulk (bags of twenty to twenty-five pounds).  They had to make it dry to avoid mold.  When we decided to create a "new" hoshigaki that was moist and enjoyable to eat, the little boxes came in handy for maintaining quality and market appeal. Since it would create a savings of $13, we decided to eliminate the boxes when the supply ran out. For giving gifts an alternate option might be to purchase small cellophane bags for the hoshigaki and tie them off with ribbon.

We are presently swamped with the hoshigaki process and hope to start shipments shortly. Though the waiting list is quite lengthy, we are still accepting orders.  Happy holidays to all of you and when this covid season is brought under control, we hope to see you

Thank you,

Tosh and Chris

Thursday, November 5, 2020

FUYU PERSIMMONS AND MORE


       The fuyu persimmon has finally arrived on the scene.  These are often referred to as the "apple" type of persimmon because you can just bite into them just like eating an apple.  They are always sweet.  The astringent type of persimmon, Hachiya and Gyombo, are also available.  These have to be soft to be enjoyed.  They can be eaten fresh or added to yogurt, smoothies or with cereal.  They are often used in baking cookies, breads, and puddings.

        When Maru, Nagamaru and Hyakume are pollinated in the spring, seeds form that influence the flesh to turn brown and sweet.  If less than a full cadre of seeds are present, a portion of the fruit will remain puckery.  When the fruit matures we look for external clues for selecting the sweetest ones.  Sorry we are never really sure.  We advise cutting the fruit to see if it is brown and sweet or perhaps partially yellow and puckery.   When we see Hyakume that we judge less brown, we treat them with vodka to sweeten them.  We call these treated hyakume Vodka persimmons.


      For the moment we have two varieties of Asian pears.   Okusankichi is a large brown pear. They are mildly sweet, juicy and refreshing with a light crisp texture.  Olympic are large and round.  They are more dense than the Okusankichi and are very sweet with a floral flavor.

        We are offering 3 types of apples.  Many people are familiar with the light crisp, sweet flavor of the Fuji apple.  Our Granny Smith have a nice balance of flavor sweetness and tartness.  A great choice for making pie.  Our third apple variety is a Ukrainian heirloom called Reinette Simienko.  It is light fleshed and  sweet/tart with wine like overtones when mature. 

     We are busy peeling persimmons and  hanging them on sticks in the sun.  As the surface dries and becomes leathery the inside of the persimmon is getting softer and sweeter.  Soon we are able to squeeze the whole persimmon and break up the pulp inside.  Week after week we massage the persimmons as they continue to lose moisture.  Usually after 4 to 6 weeks, a light coating of white sugar appears. The sugar continues to form on the surface till the whole persimmon is snowy white.  Yum!  It's Hoshigaki.  We will be selling early season hoshigaki for a few weeks. It will be available as whole pieces and strips.  We are accepting mail orders to be added to the waiting list.  For mail orders please click on mail order form.  If you will be picking up your hoshigaki at the farm, please call (916) 791-1656 or email us at otoworchard@yahoo.com to make a preorder.
 

    

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Asian Pears:  Okusankichi,

Apples:  Fuji, Granny Smith, Reinette Simirenko

Pomegranates: White, Pink, and Red

Fuyu persimmons: Eaten like an apple, it is always sweet.  Usually eaten when firm. It gets sweeter and softer as it changes from yellow to orange.

Brown fleshed Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru, Hyakume

Hachiya and Gyombo persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet

Vodka persimmons: This is the astringent Hyakume persimmon that has been treated with vodka to make it sweet. It may be eaten hard or soft.

Quince

Hoshigaki:  early season
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Chili peppers

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri, Butternut

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Granny Smith, conventionally grown. 

Mihara Farm in Newcastle:  Fuyu persimmons and Chestnuts, conventionally grown. 

Pleasant Hill Farm in Newcastle:  Fuyu persimmons, Red and yellow Satsuma mandarins. Conventionally grown.


Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Comb honey

Nastase Honey Farm, Lincoln:  Honey


Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay (limited supply).


Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

TIME TO ORDER HOSHIGAKI

 

The Hachiya persimmons are beginning to show their beautiful orange complexion. And so the Hoshigaki (Japanese hand dried persimmon) process has begun.   We are peeling hundreds of them a day and carefully hanging them by their stems in the sun.   The first few have been massaged and are ripening and shriveling.  Soon they will develop sugar on the surface.

Hoshigaki from the previous season are available at the farm stand while the supply lasts. Early season hoshigaki may be available in November.  The best hoshigaki may not be available until late November and December. If you want to pick up premium hoshigaki from the current season, it is best to get on the waiting list.  These hoshigaki will probably be available is December.  You can call (916) 791-1656 or email us at:  otoworchard@yahoo.com. For mail orders, please go to our website and use our order form.

Along with many of our customers we are awaiting Fuyu (apple type)persimmons. The color and maturity is not quite there yet.  We are hoping to have Fuyu persimmons from the last 2 weeks of October through November.  Meanwhile, we are selling soft ripe hachiya persimmons for eating out of hand or for baking.  Brown fleshed persimmons are also starting their harvest. We have Maru, Nagamaru (also called Tsurunoko and Chocolate), and Hyakume.

It is Apple and Asian pear season.  We have Fuji aples from our orchard and Mutsu (similar to Golden Delicious) apples from Sunnyslope Farm.  We have 3 varieties of brown Asian pears: Shinko, Okusankichi and Olympic.

This time of year we are also harvesting jujube, red and white pomegranates, and quince.  We are getting winter squash from the garden:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, and Red Kuri.  WoodRose Country Garden is bringing us eggplant, peppers and basil.

Although the song makes us think of chestnuts as a holiday treat, Placer County chestnuts are falling off the trees.  We just received a delivery of big beautiful chestnuts from Mihara Farm in Newcastle.  My advice is to pierce each one, soak overnight in cold water, then boil the next morning for  20 minutes.  Peel as soon as cool enough to handle.


 

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

Hoshigaki:  whole

Jujube:  Li, GA 688

Asian Pears:  Shinko, Okusankichi, Olympic

Apples:  Fuji

Pomegranates: White and Red

Brown fleshed Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru, Hyakume

Hachiya persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet

Quince
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Cucumbers:  Asian (limited supply)

Okra

Chili peppers

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Ganny Smith, Mutsu apples, conventionally grown. Fresh eating or cooking with sweet/tart flavor. Similar to Gloden Delicious.

Mihara Farm: Chestnuts, conventionally grown

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, bell peppers
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

NOW THAT IT IS FALL

 Now that it is Fall, farm stand offerings have definitely changed.  We are looking at apples, pears, and Asian pears.  Bartlet pear season is almost finished and Comice and D'anjou, the winter pears, won't be ready till November.  Our apples continue to be hard to find.  We are getting Mutsu apples from Sunnyslope Farm.  One of our favorite Asian pears is Shinko a brown pear with crisp, sweet flesh.

We have started to harvest persimmons.  The Hachiya persimmon starts off hard, puckery and inedible. That sounds pretty bad! Given time it becomes a sweet pudding-like mass in its own skin. You can spoon out the contents

or just break the skin and suck out the the contents.  Watch out for the seeds.  Hachiya are often used in baking cookies, puddings and breads.  We are also harvesting brown fleshed persimmons:  Maru, Nagamaru (also called Chocolate or Tusrunoko), and Coffee Cake.  If pollinated they will be brown fleshed and sweet.  If not pollinated  they will be yellow fleshed and puckery.  We are never really sure, so it is best to slice the fruit to check for the brown flesh before biting into it.



With Fall, it is time to think about comfort food.  Winter squash is on the list.  We have Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu and Red Kuri.  These squashes can be steamed, roasted, baked or microwaved with sweet or savory additions. Some cooks may add them to soup, stew or curry.

It will soon be time for us to start drying persimmons.  We are busy cleaning and arranging the persimmon yard for this annual activity. We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as whole pieces.   If you wish to mail order hoshigaki, please click here mail order form   As always we encourage you to get your mail order form in early as orders are filled in the order received.  The Hachiya crop is somewhat limited this year and the work force is a little older.

 

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow Flesh Plums:
      Casselman:  firm, sweet tart and juicy

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Large, purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

        Thompson seedless: small intensely sweet grapes

Hoshigaki:  whole

Jujube:  Li

Asian Pears:  Shinko, 20th Century, Okusankichi,

European Pears: Bartlet (limited supply)

Apples: (Limited supply) Fuji, Red Delicious

Pomegranates:(Limited supply) White

Brown fleshed Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru, Coffee Cake

Hachiya persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Cucumbers:  Asian, Lemon and Armenian (limited supply)

Okra

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Mutsu apples, conventionally grown. Fresh eating or cooking.

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, bell peppers
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

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