Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkins & Persimmons

Topped hachiyas waiting to get peeled.
We have lots of pumpkins and gourds for decorating and carving outside the fruit stand.  You can go out to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin, too.

Peeling persimmons for hoshigaki (hand-dried persimmons) began this week.   Picking is still slow though, with having to go through a lot of trees to find enough hachiyas ripe enough for peeling to fill a few boxes.   We only have limited amounts of hoshigaki to sell at the fruit stand right now because we just started this year's season.  After peeling, each persimmon takes around six weeks to dry and become hoshigaki. If you want to order hoshigaki by mail order, check the Oct. 3rd post for more information.  To eat a fresh hachiya persimmon, it has to look like a water balloon and be the texture of jello.   There are a few hard hachiyas for sale in the fruit stand now, but not yet a very big supply.

We picked the first fuyu persimmons this week.  The first ones picked are yellow-orange and crisp, not dark orange and juicy like they will be a few weeks later.  Fuyu persimmon is also called "apple persimmon" because it's sweet to eat when firm like an apple.  We're continuing to pick maru persimmon, too.  Maru is the earliest type of persimmon we have.  Maru is also called "chocolate" persimmon because if it was pollinated the fruit will be brown inside and sweet to eat when firm.  As the weather gets colder, all of the persimmons should ripen more quickly.

People are welcome to visit the orchard and see the persimmons drying.  We're open Tues. through Sat.,  9-6 and Sun. from 10-5.  We're closed only on Mondays. If you want to visit the orchard for an organized group tour, please call ahead to schedule a time.  Other groups have already arranged times to come, and we want to be able to give everyone good attention.  Because we're a small farm with only a few workers, we need to know ahead of time to have enough staff available to help out.

Here's what's at the fruit stand now:
  • Pumpkins (at the fruit stand and at the pumpkin patch)
  • Persimmons--Maru, Fuyu, Hachiya
  • Apples--Fuji, Mutsu, Golden Delicious
  • Asian Pear--Shinko, Olympic
  • Pomegranate--white variety
  • Jujube
  • Vegetables--tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash,eggplant, peppers, basil, oregano, mint
  • Winter Squash--butternut, kabocha (various types), red kuri, buttercup, spaghetti squash, pie pumpkins
  • Organic Winter Vegetable Seedlings
  • Local Honey--star thistle honey from Lincoln
  • Eggs

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