|Sunset at the orchard|
The fruit stand is full of mandarins and soft persimmons. Soft hachiya are for sale, individually and in trays. We still have maru (chocolate) persimmons, vodka-treated hyakume, and fuyu persimmons although they're not as firm as earlier in the season. Other items in the fruit stand are large okusankichi Asian pears, white pomegranate, butternut and Black Futsu winter squash, pie pumpkins and raw honey from bees at our orchard.
It's been cold in the past few weeks with some nights of freezing temperatures and many days of rain. We have been busy catching up with all of the various tasks involved in drying hoshigaki, such as massaging drying persimmons, taking down dry hoshigaki, trimming the tops and sorting them into grades according to softness. Only about one rack of sticks of hoshigaki remains drying in the last drying room. Out in the orchard we have been pruning trees and dropping compost between the rows to help fertilize the soil.