Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter is Part of the Cycle

We've had a lot of fog and drizzle lately at the orchard, as you can see in the photo at the left. The birds have eaten the last persimmons left on the trees and the ume plum blossoms are just about to pop open.

At the fruit stand we have lots of juicy mandarins and now navel oranges, too.  The soft persimmons are still in supply, as well as kiwi and Meyer lemon.  Hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) is still for sale at the fruit stand and through mail order.  The very last hoshigaki we started are almost finished drying. 

The next delivery date for the Sierra Foothills Meat Buyers Club is this coming Friday, Feb. 4th from 3:30-5:00.  Through the Meat Buyers Club you can order locally raised, hormone-free meat and eggs online, then pick it up at the orchard.  There are other delivery sites in Placer County, too, if the orchard isn't convenient.  The last day to order for the Feb. 4th delivery is Monday, Jan. 31st by 5:00.

In the orchard we've been pruning the trees, digging out dying trees, and getting spots ready to plant new trees.  All the tomato plants have finally been pulled out in the gardens, just as we're getting ready to start new ones by seed.  The mobile chicken dome is now in the area of the garden where the future tomato seedlings should go in April.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Late Season Surprises

Past the persimmon trees are geese out in the orchard.
We are re-opening the hoshigaki (dried persimmon) orders. After filling all the mail orders we found that we still have a small supply left.  Hoshigaki is for sale at our fruit stand and also through mail order. If you'd like to order some through mail order, click here for the order form or go to the hoshigaki/persimmons tab on the web page. If you come to the fruit stand soon, you can see the last of the hoshigaki that's still drying and get an idea of the process.

Soft Hachiya persimmons are in abundance at the fruit stand.  If you really like soft Hachiyas, now's the time to get them. They can be eaten fresh or you can freeze them whole and eat them like sorbet later on. The pulp can also be squeezed out and frozen to use for baking later, or to add to yogurt or smoothies.

We were surprised to find that we have some Fuyu persimmons that are still firm this late in the season.  Since mandarins were ready so late this year, we still have lots of mandarins at the fruit stand, too, along with the fruits we expect to have now, such as kiwi and Meyer lemon.   

Here's what's at the fruit stand now:
  • Persimmons--Hachiya (soft), Fuyu (firm), and hoshigaki (dried persimmon)
  • Mandarins-Owari Satsuma
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons-Meyer
The orchard fruit stand is open year round.  Hours are Tues.-Sat. from 9-5 and on Sundays from 10-5. We're closed Mondays.

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