Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hoshigaki & the Weather

Sticks of just-peeled kaki under the gyombo tree.
We have been peeling persimmons for hoshigaki (dried persimmons) for the past few weeks.   Each morning when we expect good weather, we take the freshly peeled sticks of hanging persimmons out of the buildings to dry in the sun.  When the persimmons are at the right texture, we massage them for the first time and then the sticks of persimmons usually stay in the buildings as they dry further.   

During the past three weeks we've had about a week of rainy days, so some of the persimmons have been inside the buildings for a longer time than usual.  Because of this some of the hoshigaki will take a bit longer than it sometimes does at the beginning of the season.  If the weather is very warm and dry in the early fall, the persimmons can take as little as 4 weeks to dry, but the average time is about 6 weeks

Since making hoshigaki is so weather dependent, we can only make a certain amount each year.  As the temperatures get colder, the persimmons eventually become too soft to peel.  Right now we're trying to peel as much as possible before this happens. After the persimmons get too soft, we'll have to take care of what's already been peeled and that's all the hoshigaki there will be for that season.  In the past few years we have sold out and had to stop taking orders sometime in December.  We're not sure when we'll have to stop peeling and taking orders this year yet, we just have to wait and see what happens with the weather. 

If you'd like to order hoshigaki to be sent by mail, click above on the "Hoshigaki/Persimmons" tab, or click here to go to directly to the order form.  We don't accept credit cards, so the order form has to be printed out and mailed in with a check.  If you'd like to pick up hoshigaki at the fruit stand in person, please call us to make an order.  Our phone number is (916) 791-7165.

If you come to the orchard you can see the hoshigaki drying process and take a walk in the orchard.  You can see trees with ripening persimmons and Asian pears, vegetable gardens, compost piles, chickens and a horse.  We're open Tuesday through Saturday from  9-6 and on Sunday from 10-5.  On Mondays the orchard is closed.

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