Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beginning of Fall

Green hachiya persimmons
In the orchard some of the first persimmons are starting to develop an orange blush and begin to ripen.  The pomegranates are coloring up, too.  We started picking the winter squash in the gardens and although some of the pumpkins and gourds look ready to cut, the weather seems too hot still to try to harvest and store very many of them.

At the end of this month we'll post the 2011 hoshigaki (Japanese hand dried persimmon) mail order form so that we can begin taking orders for hoshigaki.  We'll post here on the blog when the official order form is finished and available on our website. 

New things we have at the fruit stand are jujube, quince, and olympic Asian pears.  We have limited quantities of jujube and quince though, since we only have a few of these trees and picking just started.

Here's what's at the fruit stand now: 
  • Asian Pear--Yoi, Shinko, New Century, 20th Century, Olympic
  •  Plums--Casselman, Angelina
  • European Pear--Comice, D'anjou
  • Apples--Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Northern Spy, Fuji
  • Figs--Black Mission, Brown Turkey
  • Quince
  • Jujube
  • Vegetables--tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, long beans, peppers, zucchini, summer squash,  basil, oregano, mint
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard, star thistle honey from Lincoln
  • Eggs
This summer, Girl Scouts from the local Granite Bay troop volunteered to  paint the fence around the horse pasture as part of a local sustainability project they were working on.  Earlier in the year they had visited the orchard for a tour and to talk with Tosh about local agriculture.  They were very enthusiastic and hard-working, and we're thankful that they could help us out.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Orchard News & Meat Buyers Club

After picking tomatoes.
We have a nice crop of black mission and kadota figs right now.  We go check the fig trees each day for ripe figs and try to find ways to keep the birds away.  This year some it seems that some of the birds have figured out how to get under the nets we put over the trees, so we're going to try adding hanging CD's and see if it deters some of them.  The CD's glint in the sun and maybe frighten away birds.

The nearly 100 degree temperatures this week have helped ripen tomatoes out in the gardens, so we have a lot to pick still.  Usually by this time of year the tomato harvest is winding down.  We've been spending  nights and days off canning and freezing extra tomatoes. Chris has been sun-drying tomatoes and figs on trays lately, too, since the weather has been warm.

Heirloom tomatoes--persimmon, Berti, manyel, Andrew Reinhart's Gold, Giant Belgium, Dagma's perfection and black prince (clockwise from upper right).  Figs are sun-drying in the background.

The next delivery date from the Sierra Foothills Meat Buyers Club will be at our orchard on Friday, Sept. 23rd from 3:30-5:00. Orders must be sent in by 5:00 PM Friday, Sept. 16th.  Through the Sierra Foothills Meat Buyers Club you can order local grass-fed, hormone free beef, lamb, and chicken, as well as eggs, honey and the Placer County Real Food Cookbook.  Orders are made online and then you choose one of three locations to pick up your order.  Locations are Otow Orchard (in Granite Bay), Confluence Kitchen (in Auburn) and Community Ink (in Truckee).

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