Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy at the Orchard

The orchard has been very busy with all aspects of making hoshigaki (dried persimmons) lately. We've been peeling and hanging as many persimmons as possible while the weather is good and while the persimmons are still hard enough to peel. There are now hoshigaki drying all stages. Freshly peeled persimmons are hanging on the racks and wall outside, the glass hot house has already-massaged persimmons, and the other indoor drying rooms have racks of drier persimmons. We spend time going through the racks massaging the hoshigaki and moving the sticks to a new location if they are ready. Some hoshigaki are nearly finished and "sugaring up", meaning that they are starting to show a powdery dusting of fructose on the surface. We expect to have some of the first hoshigaki of the season finished within the next two weeks.

Aside from working with hoshigaki and keeping track of mail orders, we are also sending out orders of fresh persimmons and Asian pears. Quite a few community groups have been coming for scheduled tours of the orchard, too.

In the fruit stand we now have lots of fuyu persimmons of various sizes. In general, summer vegetables such as tomatoes are now almost finished. Our pumpkin patch is open if you're looking for pumpkins for Halloween.

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

  • Persimmons--Maru, hachiya, hyakume (vodka-treated), fuyu
  • Apples--Fuji, Golden Delicious, Mutsu
  • Asian pear--Okusankichi (large brown variety)
  • Grapes--Ribier
  • Jujube
  • Pomegranate--white variety
  • Quince
  • Winter Squash--butternut, delicata, red kuri, kabocha, Hokkaido
  • Vegetables--tomatillos, eggplant, bitter melon, peppers (sweet and hot), basil
  • Honey-from bees at our orchard
  • PUMPKINS (to choose at the fruit stand or pick your own in the pumpkin patch)--Jack-o-lantern (small and large), specialty types, pie pumpkins

Above you can see photos of Viviano practicing peeling next to a tub of peeled hachiya persimmons ready for stringing and hanging on the racks, and a photo of Helen peeling more persimmons while Toshio strings some for hanging.

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