Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blenheim Apricots & Santa Rosa Plums

Black Beauty, Dark Green, Kusa, Success PM Straightneck & Goldy varieties of zucchini
We now have apricots and new varieties of plums and peaches ripe at the orchard, and zucchini is ready from the gardens. You can still pick up ume (Japanese plum), too.

Here's what's at the fruit stand now:
  • Plums--Santa Rosa, red beaut, Frontier
  • Peaches--Bon Jour, Flavor Crest (yellow free-stone varieties)
  • Apricots--Patterson, Blenheim
  • Oranges--Valencia (juice oranges)
  • Vegetables--zucchini, Swiss chard, red onions and herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, mint)
  • Local Honey--(from bees living at our orchard)
  • Eggs

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


As the ume ripen, they have a pink blush, then turn yellow.
We have a supply of fresh ume at the fruit stand now.   Ume is a small sour type of Japanese plum that is preserved to make umeboshi and other types of Japanese pickles and condiments. Umeboshi (pickled ume) are sometimes put in the center of rice balls (onigiri).  Ume is very fragrant, sour, sweet and usually salty. Ume fruit is actually more closely related to an apricot than a plum, and the tree is the first of the year to blossom in January. 

Helen makes umeboshi most every year using a process that involves pressing the fruits and salt in a container with a heavy weight on top,  drying the preserved ume in the sun on a cloth for a few days and then putting them in liquid again with purple shiso (perilla).  Customers who have ordered ume in past years have brought us samples of what they've made, too.  We've gotten to taste ume pickled in different ways, ume flavored miso, ginger preserved in ume pickling juice (beni shoga), and ume flavored shoyu, all of which are very delicious.   Most years we sell out of ume so we don't write about it on the website, but this year our neighbors the Koyamas brought us a lot from their trees, so we have enough to mention.  If you want to order ume, you can call the orchard at (916) 791-1656 or stop by the fruit stand.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Red Beauts and Biwa

The first plums of the season are finally ready.  Red Beaut plums are the first plums of all the varieties in the orchard to ripen.  As you can see in photo of the Red Beaut at the left, they're red with slight mottling on the skin and yellow and juicy inside. 

The loquat (or biwa) are ready now, too.  Loquats are a sweet yellow-orange tropical fruits that grow in bunches on the tree.  In the center are two smooth dome-shaped brown seeds that split apart.  Loquats are hard to find fresh, but you can find them canned at Asian markets.

Viviano and a loquat

In the garden the first zucchinis are almost ready, so we should have enough to pick soon.  

At the fruit stand we have cherries, Red Beaut plums, loquats, pink and yellow grapefruit, Valencia oranges, Swiss chard, herbs (oregano, mint, rosemary), honey from bees at the orchard and eggs.

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