|Hachiya persimmon in the orchard|
Although the recently wet weather has ended the peeling of new persimmons, we're still busy taking care of the many sticks of drying persimmons that are in the process of becoming hoshigaki. We have drying rooms full of persimmons in varying stages of drying that need to be periodically massaged and checked on. We've also been packing finished hoshigaki into bags and gift boxes to send out through mail order and for sale at the fruit stand.
At our fruit stand we still have many varieties of fresh persimmons, including firm fuyu and soft hachiya that many people use for baking. We're selling firm fuyu by the pound or in 15-pound bags. Other persimmon varieties are maru (chocolate), nagamaru, and vodka-treated hyakume. Mandarins are now in season and available at the fruit stand, too. Granny Smith apples, white pomegranate, Asian pear, green tomatoes and winter squash are also at the fruit stand. For winter squash we have lots of butternut squash, a few different varieties of kabocha and pie pumpkins.
Hoshigaki is often given as a gift for Christmas or New Year's. We have other items that can be used as gifts as well. We have two persimmon cookbooks, Perfectly Persimmon by Jeanne Brine, and a persimmon cook book put out by the UC Davis Extension service. We also have Joanne Neft's and Laura Kenny's The Art of Real Food cookbook. At the fruit stand you can also buy the 2013 Master Gardener's calendar, handmade 100% beeswax candles made with beeswax from our orchard, and locally made jam from Orchard Delights.