Monday, October 31, 2016

Rainy Weather

The recent rains are good for the orchard, but difficult for drying hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons).  We've still been trying to dry as many persimmons as possible lately though, despite the rainy weather. The dampness has slowed the drying process and all the inside rooms are full of racks of peeled persimmons.  We hope to get more of the hoshigaki out in the sun during this week. 

We're still peeling persimmons to start new hoshigaki because the persimmons are still hard enough to peel.  Sometime in the next few weeks  we'll need to stop peeling because the persimmons will either be mostly too ripe to dry well or the weather will be too cool or damp for them to dry well. Right now we're still taking orders for pick up at the fruit stand or mail order

Some of the first of this season's hoshigaki has finished so we have limited quantities for sale at our fruit stand. If you'd like to pick up more than a pound of hoshigaki at our fruit stand (when we have more available) it's a good idea to call ahead.  If you live within driving distance picking up an order at the fruit stand may be worthwhile economically.

There are lots of crisp fuyu persimmons at the fruit stand still.  We have fuyus for sale by the pound or by the bag.  Fuyus are sweet and ready to eat when they're hard.  We also have hachiya and gyombo persimmons,  which must be very soft to be sweet.  Other persimmons we have are maru (or chocolate persimmon) and hyakume (or cinnamon persimmon).  Maru and hyakume are pollination variant type persimmons, which means they're sweet and ready to eat hard if they're pollinated.  We also have vodka-treated hyakume, which is always sweet and ready to eat when hard, because of the vodka treatment.

Also at the fruit stand we have Granny Smith, Fuji, Reinette Simerenko and Pippen apples, white and red varieties of pomegranate, Shinko and Olympic Asian pears, walnuts, eggs, Good Stuff Jam, and two different persimmon cookbooks for sale. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More Fuyu

Fuyu Persimmons
We harvested a lot more fuyu persimmons from the orchard this week.  Now we have bags of fuyus available at the fruit stand.  Fuyu are the variety of persimmons that are sweet when hard like an apple, you don't need to wait for them to become soft to eat them.

The fruit stand also has hachiya persimmons that are soft and ripe.  Hachiyas are a variety  of persimmon that must be the texture of jello to eat fresh, then they are one of the sweetest varieties.  A hard, unripe hachiya has tannic acid will dry out your mouth. You can also still make orders to pick up hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons) at our fruit stand, or order hoshigaki through mail order.

Recently, the website Cropmobster (Sacramento County Region) posted a resource alert about our orchard.  This website works as an online community exchange platform and social alert service for broadcasting food and agricultural needs and offers.  Cropmobster also posted an alert about reducing persimmon waste called, "Honor the Persimmon!  Let's Save & Share Them This Season".  There are useful resources about persimmons at the end of the post, too. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

2016 Mail Order Form--Hoshigaki Season Begins

This season's mail order form is now up on our website.  You can find the link to it here or look for it under the website's hoshigaki/persimmon tab.  To order hoshigaki (Japanese massaged hand-dried persimmons) through mail, please print out the form, fill it out and then mail it to us with a check for payment.  We are unable to take credit cards.

We started peeling persimmons this week to begin the hoshigaki drying process.  The drying process takes an average time of six weeks. Each persimmon fruit is hand-peeled, then strung together in a pair on a stick.  The sticks of strung persimmons are first placed on a rack in the sun to dry.  After the persimmons dry for a week or so, the sticks are moved inside to a more protected area.  Regular massaging happens throughout the weeks to help the hoshigaki dry evenly and remain a soft texture.  Towards the end of the drying process the hoshigaki naturally develop a light dusting of powdery sugar on their surface.

If you'd like to order hoshigaki by mail, we recommend that you send in your order as soon as possible.  Earliest orders ship out first and the drying season is weather-dependent.  Each season's supply is limited to what we can produce while persimmons are hard enough to peel and the weather is conducive to drying.  If you live close enough to pick up hoshigaki at our fruit stand, you can stop by or call us to place an order. 

Visitors to the fruit stand are welcome to look around and see the drying process.  You're also welcome to walk out in the orchard and take a tour on your own, but we're not a pick-your-own operation.  The fruit stand is open from 10-6 Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 10-5 Sundays.  Mondays we are closed. 


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Persimmons, Asian Pears and Apples

Okusankichi Asian Pear and the Old Tractor
We have a  lot of different fall fruits in season now.  We have harvested multiple varieties of Asian pear and apples as well as persimmons. Some fuyu persimmons have been picked, but not a major quantity yet.  Many of the hachiya persimmons on the trees are close to getting enough color to be peeled, so we expect to start drying persimmons for hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmons) within the next week. 


We are accepting mail orders for this season's hoshigaki, but the 2016 mail order form is not yet up on our website.  We expect to have it posted here soon. 

Here's a list of what's available at the fruit stand:
  • Asian pears--Shinko, Yoi
  • Persimmons--Fuyu, Hachiya (soft), Maru (chocolate), Nagamaru (chocolate)
  • European pears--D'Anjou, Comice
  • Apples--Granny Smith, Reinette Simirenko, Fuji, Pippin
  • Plums--Casselman
  • Pomegranate-- White variety with sweet pink arils
  • Quince
  • Jujube
  • Chestnuts
  • Vegetables--Tomatillos, Shishito peppers, Sweet Peppers, Jalape├▒os, Fish Peppers, eggplant
  • Winter squash--Kabocha, Black Futsu
  • Herbs--Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Balm
  • Bee products from bees at our orchard--raw honey, 100% beeswax candles
  • Jam--The Good Stuff jams made with fruit from our orchard
  • Eggs--Free-range local chicken eggs
  • Placer County Master Gardeners Calendars

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