Friday, October 30, 2015

So Many Fuyu

Right now there are so many fuyu persimmons at the fruit stand that we are having a sale.  If you buy two large bags, you get one large bag free.  Buy two small bags of fuyu, and get one small bag free. Fuyu persimmons are sweet when they're firm and have the texture of apple.

We still have other types of persimmons, such as hachiya, maru (chocolate), vodka-treated hyakume and early season hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon).  Other fruit at the fruit stand include Asian pears, pomegranates and jujubes.

If you would like to pick up larger amounts of hoshigaki at the fruit stand, please call ahead and we will set it aside for you.  You can also order hoshigaki through mail order by sending us the order form (found under the "hoshigaki/persimmons" tab at the top of the site).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Persimmon Time

Persimmons on the Drying Racks  
We've been very busy at the orchard with persimmon harvest and all aspects of drying persimmons for hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon).  Sorting, peeling, hanging, massaging, packing and shipping of persimmons is keeping all of us occupied.  Now is a good time to come and see the hoshigaki drying process.  Visitors are welcome to come to the orchard during the fruit stand's open hours to see the different stages of drying persimmons. Although we are not a "pick your own" operation, people are always welcome to just take a walk and tour the orchard on their own.    

We have lots of fuyu, hachiya and other fresh persimmons for sale at the fruit stand. Firm and sweet fuyus are available by the bag as well as trays of soft hachiya.  We also have maru and nagamaru (chocolate) persimmons, vodka-treated hyakume persimmons.  Other produce at the fruit stand includes Asian pears (shinko and okusankichi varieties), pomegranates (red, white and pink), apples (Granny Smith, Fuji), jujube, winter squash (kabocha, butternut), basil and other herbs. Persimmon cookbooks and the 2016 Placer County Master Gardeners calendar are also for sale.

Some of the first early season hoshigaki is also available in small quantities at the fruit stand.  If you'd like to pick up a larger quantity of hoshigaki it's best to call us and order ahead of time.  To have hoshigaki or fresh fruit delivered through mail order, print out our mail order form and send it to our address with a check.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hoshigaki Mail Orders

Freshly peeled hachiya persimmons drying for hoshigaki.
The new 2015 Hoshigaki Mail Order Form is now posted here on the website, under the Hoshigaki/Persimmons tab.  If you'd like to mail order hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) this year, please print out the mail order form and mail it back to us. You can also order fresh fruit shipments from our orchard using this form. This year our time frame for shipping fresh persimmons has been shortened because the fruit is ripening more quickly due to effects of the drought.

We started peeling the first hachiya persimmons to dry for hoshigaki about two weeks ago.  Peeling is the first step in the hoshigaki drying process.  The hachiyas need to be fully orange, but still hard enough to peel.  After peeling, each fruit takes around six weeks to dry, depending on the weather.  The peeled fruits are hung by their stems in pairs and massaged every few days to help them to dry evenly.  By the end of the drying process, each persimmon has developed a dusting of natural powdered sugar on its surface, and is soft and sweet.

Please keep in mind that because of these natural processes and weather variables, orders may take 8 to 10 weeks to ship.  The first hoshigaki for this season has not yet finished drying and we fill orders in the order in which we receive them.  It's important to get your order in as soon as possible, because supplies are limited to what we can dry while the weather allows.  When the persimmons are too soft to peel we must stop drying new ones. Also, this year our supply of persimmons is more limited because of the drought. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015


We now have almost every variety of persimmon from the orchard at the fruit stand.  We have fuyu, hachiya, marunagamaru and vodka-treated hyakumeFuyu is a non-astringent variety that is sweet when firm.  Hachiya is a variety that is astringent until it's as soft as jello, but then it's very sweet. 

Maru, nagamaru and hyakume are all pollination varient varieties, meaning that if the fruit was pollinated it will be brown and sweet inside when firm.  If the fruit wasn't pollinated, it will be only orange inside and to eat it you must wait for it to soften to become sweet.  The vodka that we treat the hyakume with takes away any astringency the fruit might have had, so vodka-treated hyakume is always sweet.

Also at the fruit stand we have Asian pears, apples (red delicious, golden delicious, fuji, reinette simerenko, granny smith), pomegranates (white and red), winter squash, tomatillos, sweet and hot peppers and honey.

Izu, Fuyu, Nagamaru, Nishimura Wase, Maru, Hyakume, Hachiya and Gyombo (back to front)

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