Tuesday, January 15, 2013


In this photo, Viviano is looking at the ice formations made from the sprinklers one morning this past weekend. We had to turn on some of the sprinklers for a few nights to create a layer of ice on the citrus trees.  The coating of ice is supposed to protect the trees themselves from freezing. The branches are insulated by the ice and the temperature is kept a few degrees higher than the surrounding air.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Fruits and Producers Co-op

We have three new fruits at the fruit stand--kiwi, naval oranges and blood oranges.  The kiwis are flavorful and the navels are sweet and juicy.  Blood oranges are less acidic and red inside with a red blush on the peel. We also have many mandarins at the fruit stand, as well as Asian pear and winter squash. All types of softening persimmons are available. We still have a good supply of hoshigaki for sale at the fruit stand and through mail order.

The January delivery to our orchard for the Sierra Foothills Producers Cooperative will be Friday, Jan. 18th, from 4-5 PM.  Orders need to be received by Friday, Jan. 11th at 4:00 PM.  Through the Producers Co-op you can order locally and naturally raised beef, chicken, lamb, pork and eggs; seasonal produce such as Meyer lemons and mandarins; and other locally made products like dressings, jams, sauces and cheese.  We are selling our hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) through the Producers Co-op this month.  Other delivery locations are in Auburn, Kings Beach, Truckee and Penryn. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hoshigaki & Fruit Stand Update

Sunset at the orchard
Hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) is still available for sale at the fruit stand and through mail order.  At the fruit stand we have various grades of hoshigaki for sale, and also hoshigaki from another producer, Pleasant Hill Orchard.  Pleasant Hill Orchard is a small orchard in Newcastle, CA owned by the Nodahara family.  Thier hoshigaki is very soft and flavorful this year with nice fluffy sugar on the outside. We now also have Pleasant Hill's Hoshigaki for sale through mail order at a little less per pound than ours.  Mandarins are also for sale through mail order.

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. 

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