Tuesday, October 13, 2020

TIME TO ORDER HOSHIGAKI

 

The Hachiya persimmons are beginning to show their beautiful orange complexion. And so the Hoshigaki (Japanese hand dried persimmon) process has begun.   We are peeling hundreds of them a day and carefully hanging them by their stems in the sun.   The first few have been massaged and are ripening and shriveling.  Soon they will develop sugar on the surface.

Hoshigaki from the previous season are available at the farm stand while the supply lasts. Early season hoshigaki may be available in November.  The best hoshigaki may not be available until late November and December. If you want to pick up premium hoshigaki from the current season, it is best to get on the waiting list.  These hoshigaki will probably be available is December.  You can call (916) 791-1656 or email us at:  otoworchard@yahoo.com. For mail orders, please go to our website and use our order form.

Along with many of our customers we are awaiting Fuyu (apple type)persimmons. The color and maturity is not quite there yet.  We are hoping to have Fuyu persimmons from the last 2 weeks of October through November.  Meanwhile, we are selling soft ripe hachiya persimmons for eating out of hand or for baking.  Brown fleshed persimmons are also starting their harvest. We have Maru, Nagamaru (also called Tsurunoko and Chocolate), and Hyakume.

It is Apple and Asian pear season.  We have Fuji aples from our orchard and Mutsu (similar to Golden Delicious) apples from Sunnyslope Farm.  We have 3 varieties of brown Asian pears: Shinko, Okusankichi and Olympic.

This time of year we are also harvesting jujube, red and white pomegranates, and quince.  We are getting winter squash from the garden:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, and Red Kuri.  WoodRose Country Garden is bringing us eggplant, peppers and basil.

Although the song makes us think of chestnuts as a holiday treat, Placer County chestnuts are falling off the trees.  We just received a delivery of big beautiful chestnuts from Mihara Farm in Newcastle.  My advice is to pierce each one, soak overnight in cold water, then boil the next morning for  20 minutes.  Peel as soon as cool enough to handle.


 

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

Hoshigaki:  whole

Jujube:  Li, GA 688

Asian Pears:  Shinko, Okusankichi, Olympic

Apples:  Fuji

Pomegranates: White and Red

Brown fleshed Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru, Hyakume

Hachiya persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet

Quince
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Cucumbers:  Asian (limited supply)

Okra

Chili peppers

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Ganny Smith, Mutsu apples, conventionally grown. Fresh eating or cooking with sweet/tart flavor. Similar to Gloden Delicious.

Mihara Farm: Chestnuts, conventionally grown

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, bell peppers
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

NOW THAT IT IS FALL

 Now that it is Fall, farm stand offerings have definitely changed.  We are looking at apples, pears, and Asian pears.  Bartlet pear season is almost finished and Comice and D'anjou, the winter pears, won't be ready till November.  Our apples continue to be hard to find.  We are getting Mutsu apples from Sunnyslope Farm.  One of our favorite Asian pears is Shinko a brown pear with crisp, sweet flesh.

We have started to harvest persimmons.  The Hachiya persimmon starts off hard, puckery and inedible. That sounds pretty bad! Given time it becomes a sweet pudding-like mass in its own skin. You can spoon out the contents

or just break the skin and suck out the the contents.  Watch out for the seeds.  Hachiya are often used in baking cookies, puddings and breads.  We are also harvesting brown fleshed persimmons:  Maru, Nagamaru (also called Chocolate or Tusrunoko), and Coffee Cake.  If pollinated they will be brown fleshed and sweet.  If not pollinated  they will be yellow fleshed and puckery.  We are never really sure, so it is best to slice the fruit to check for the brown flesh before biting into it.



With Fall, it is time to think about comfort food.  Winter squash is on the list.  We have Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu and Red Kuri.  These squashes can be steamed, roasted, baked or microwaved with sweet or savory additions. Some cooks may add them to soup, stew or curry.

It will soon be time for us to start drying persimmons.  We are busy cleaning and arranging the persimmon yard for this annual activity. We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as whole pieces.   If you wish to mail order hoshigaki, please click here mail order form   As always we encourage you to get your mail order form in early as orders are filled in the order received.  The Hachiya crop is somewhat limited this year and the work force is a little older.

 

HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow Flesh Plums:
      Casselman:  firm, sweet tart and juicy

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Large, purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

        Thompson seedless: small intensely sweet grapes

Hoshigaki:  whole

Jujube:  Li

Asian Pears:  Shinko, 20th Century, Okusankichi,

European Pears: Bartlet (limited supply)

Apples: (Limited supply) Fuji, Red Delicious

Pomegranates:(Limited supply) White

Brown fleshed Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru, Coffee Cake

Hachiya persimmons: Must be soft to be sweet
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Cucumbers:  Asian, Lemon and Armenian (limited supply)

Okra

Winter squash:  Delicata, Kabocha, Black Futsu, Red Kuri

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Mutsu apples, conventionally grown. Fresh eating or cooking.

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, bell peppers
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

Monday, September 7, 2020

FALL FRUIT: PEARS, GRAPES, APPLES, JUJUBE AND FIGS

      Sad to see peach season ending.  Peaches we have now are not like the ones in July and August.  These late season peaches will be gone in a week.  They are better eaten on the firm side and still have good flavor with less juice and sweetness than the mid summer crop.  The next great peaches will be appearing in late June 2021, we hope.

     Fall is setting in and with it comes apples and pears.  We have a small crop of striped red delicious apples. These are fresh, sweet and juicy.  Bartlet pears  have been in storage for about 2 weeks and as we bring them out they begin to glow with classic yellow pear color.  They are sweet and juicy with smooth tender flesh.



 

      We have two yellow and two  brown skinned varieties of Asian pears.  Unlike European pears, Asian pears are eaten firm.  They are sweet juicy and crisp like a light textured apple.

       The grapes are in full season now. Red Purlett and Thompson seedless grapes are sweet and juicy now.  The Kyoho, seeded, grape is full of "concord-like" flavor and seems to have developed a fan base over the years.


 

      The second and final crop of  figs is now appearing.  We have Black Mission, Brown Turkey, and Green Penache figs.  This second crop is smaller in size but still has intense flavor.

       We are just starting the jujube harvest.  We started with the small Sugar Cane variety and are also getting Li Jujube.  I think of them as nutritional, easy to eat snack food.

       The summer garden is starting to slow down.  We are still getting cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and okra.  WoodRose Country Garden is adding tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers. jalapenos, Anaheim peppers, Poblano peppers, and basil. The first of the winter squash has arrived.  We have tender sweet delicata  squash.

      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as whole pieces.  We are curtailing mail orders till the weather cools, probably late September or October if we still have a supply.

      There are several local honey choices at this time.  Our own beekeeper has honey from Otow Orchard as well as orange blossom honey from a valley citrus grove.  Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay has honey and  boxes of beautiful comb honey.



HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow Flesh Plums:
      Casselman:  firm, sweet tart and juicy


Yellow Freestone Peaches:

      Summerset

      Late Alamar

      Fairtime

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Large, purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

        Red Purlett:  Red, seedless, sweet grapes

        Thompson seedless: small intensely sweet grapes
Figs:  Brown Turkey, Penache, Black Mission

Hoshigaki:  whole
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Tomatoes:  red,  heirloom, Roma, cherry
Chilies
Cucumbers:  Asian, Lemon and Armenian

Asian eggplant
Okra

Delicata winter squash

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown):  Tra Zee

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, jalapenos, bell peppers, tomatoes, Anaheim and Poblano peppers.
Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

Monday, August 24, 2020

MOVING INTO FALL

 
We don't know what the smoke and heat are doing to our crops but us farmers don't like it.  Masking for COVID and now masking to protect us from forest fire smoke.  Thank you to all our customers that have been braving the current conditions to support our farm.   

         Peaches are definitely starting to wane.  We are harvesting our last varieties for the year:   Summerset and Late Alamar.  Sunnyslope Farm is bringing us O'Henry and then Tra Zee.  

         Asian Pears are taking the place of peaches in our fram stand.  We  have 20th Century and New Century yellow pears.  Hosui, Yoi and Shinko brown pears are also being harvested.    These pears are eaten sweet, juicy and crisp.

        I wish I could say we have apples, but the turkey had a feast with Gala apples.  Now we are waiting for Red and Golden Delicious Apples. 

         The beautiful Kyoho grapes are now coming into the farm stand.  These are seeded grapes with concord-like flavor. So sweet

and juicy.  We also have the seedless sweet Red Purlett grapes.


 

         Tomatoes are one crop that appreciated all the warm weather.  For a while the supply was receding  but now we are getting a better supply.  The fruit is smaller in size  but just as tasty and juicy.  We are also selling tomatoes from WoodRose Country Garden in Granite Bay.

  It is still plum and pluot season. We have Kelsey (green skin), Casselman  and Late Santa Rosa plums.  Our red-fleshed Elephant Heart Plums are occasionally available.There is a good  supply of Dapple Dandy and Flavor Queen pluots.  Both are very sweet.

 
      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as whole pieces.  We are curtailing mail orders till the weather cools, probably September or October if we still have a supply.


      There are several local honey choices at this time.  Our own beekeeper has honey from Otow Orchard as well as orange blossom honey from a valley citrus grove.  Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay has honey and boxes of beautiful comb honey.



HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow Flesh Plums:
      Casselman:  sweet tart and juicy

      Late Santa Rosa: Firm sweet tart

      Kelsey:  Sweet, green skin  

Pluots:

      Dapple Dandy: sweet and meaty

      FlavorQueen:  Yellow skin with very sweet flesh


Yellow Freestone Peaches:
      O'Henry
      Rio Oso Gem 

      Summerset

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Large, purple, seeded grapes with concord-like flavor

        Red Purlett:  Red, seedless, sweet grapes
Figs:  Brown Turkey, Penache, Black Mission

Hoshigaki:  whole
Honey and bee pollen from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Tomatoes:  red,  heirloom, Roma, cherry
Chilies
Cucumbers:  Asian, Lemon and Armenian

Asian eggplant
Okra

Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown):  O'Henry

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, jalapenos, bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and cantalope.
Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

PEACHES AND TOMATOES

 Such a busy July, I haven't updated this page for almost a month.  Luckily, most of the information is correct but the varieties have changed and we are moving into fall produce.We predict there will be peaches till the end of August and possibly a few late varieties in September.  Fay Elberta, a yellow freestone peach is now in season.  This  peach is great for pies, cobblers, crisps, jam and canning or freezing.  Many customers are slicing and putting them in the freezer to add to future morning cereal or smoothies.  Rio Oso Gem and O'Henry are the next varieties we are waiting for. For a short time we will have Paradise and Opale white peaches.  The crop is very small and the supply will be limited.

       The glorious home grown, vine ripened tomato is here.  They are full of flavor and juice. Perfect for sandwiches, burgers, and salads.  When mine get too ripe I cook them up in a pot for adding to soup, stew, or chili.  I always freeze some in seal top bags. Along with red tomatoes we also have orange, yellow, striped, purple, pink and cherry tomatoes. 

        In our vegetable bin are cucumbers, squash, okra, peppers and eggplant. We are getting a lot of help from our neighbor WoodRose Country Garden. She is adding peppers, eggplant, basil, cherry tomatoes, and Cantalope.

      A sign that fall is on its way is the appearance of grapes at our farm stand.  Many have been waiting for the reappearance of Kyoho  grapes.  The time is now. These are large sweet purple seeded grapes with concord-like flavor.  We also are harvesting Red Purlett a seedless sweet red grape.  Gala apples are appearing at our stand.  These are beautiful yellow-red apples with crisp texture and a sweet tart taste. In addition to Gala apples is a small quantity of Gravenstein apples.  

      Asian Pear harvest is beginning.  We have a few Kosui and New Century (Shinseki) yellow pears and also a few Hosui, brown pears.  The European pears are not ready yet.

      It is still plum season.  Santa Rosa have turned to juice.  Taking their place are yellow-fleshed Laroda, Kelsey (green skin) and Late Santa Rosa.  We have red-fleshed Elephant Heart Plums from Mihara Farm in Lincoln.  There is a supply of Dapple Dandy, Flavor King and Flavor Queen pluots.

 
      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as whole pieces.  We are curtailing mail orders till the weather cools, probably September or October if we still have a supply.


      There are several local honey choices at this time. Nastase Honey Farm has a cute honey bear with raw, unfiltered honey.  Our own beekeeper has honey from Otow Orchard as well as orange blossom honey from a valley citrus grove.  Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay has honey and boxes of beautiful comb honey.



HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays


Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Yellow Flesh Plums:
      Laroda:  sweet tart and juicy

      Late Santa Rosa: Firm sweet tart

      Kelsey:  Sweet, green skin  

Pluots:

      Dapple Dandy: sweet and meaty

      FlavorKing:  Sweet, flavorful and red fleshed

      FlavorQueen:  Yellow skin with very sweet flesh


Yellow Freestone Peaches:
      Fay Elberta
      49 er

Grapes:

        Kyoho: Large, purple, seeded grapes with concord flavor

        Red Purlett:  Red, seedless, sweet grapes

Apples:   Gravenstein, Gala
Eureka Lemons:  Tart
Hoshigaki:  whole
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Tomatoes:  red, yellow, heirloom, Roma, cherry, colorful
Summer Squash

Chilies
Cucumbers:  Asian, Lemon and Armenian

Asian eggplant
Okra

Long Beans
Honey
Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown): Elberta, O'Henry

Wood Rose Country Garden: American eggplant, basil, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and cantalope.

Mihara Farm: Elephant Heart plums (conventionally grown)
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln
Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, and comb honey
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

 

Monday, July 13, 2020

PEACH SEASON IS HERE

       For two months people have been asking, "When will you have peaches?"  The answer is, "Now".  It is the time for both yellow and white freestone peaches.   Red Haven are sweet and juicy and they will be followed by Suncrest, Gene Elbert, and Delight in a week.  White peaches are slowly coming in. Nonetheless we are getting a few Silver Logan, Babcock, and Sugar Lady. So if you have been waiting for sweet juicy tree ripened peaches all year be sure to show up at the farm stand in July and August.

      Plums are also in the height of their season.  We continue to sell fragrant and flavorful Santa Rosa plums.  Laroda is a sweet tart tasty plum with yellow flesh.  We have three red fleshed plums:  Satsuma, Frontier, and Burgundy.  These tend to be less acidic and get sweeter and juicier as they ripen.

      I guess you can say it is cucumber season.  The thin skinned, seedless Asian cucumbers are tender, tasty, crisp and juicy. I serve them daily as sticks or rounds.  Some people like to pull them out of the frig and eat them whole for a refreshing and healthy summer snack.  Armenian cucumbers are very crisp and usually on the large side.  I enjoy making overnight pickles with these cucumbers.  And for fun, we have lemon cucumbers. Named after their shape, we find  them more enjoyable when they are light green and not mature yellow.

     Along with peaches, plums and cucumbers are glorious vine ripened tomatoes. Right now we have large juicy red and heirloom tomatoes.  As the season progresses expect the size to shrink. Time to think about those tomato sandwiches or a simple salad of  salted cucumbers with tomatoes and mayo or your favorite dressing.

       Wild blackberries are now in season.  These baskets are carefully hand harvested and selected for taste and sweetness.  Blackberries are usually available only in July.  Hope you don't miss out on this short season. 

      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as strips or whole pieces.  We are curtailing mail orders till the weather cools, probably September or October if we still have a supply.


      There are several local honey choices at this time. Nastase Honey Farm has a cute honey bear with raw, unfiltered honey.  Our own beekeeper has honey from Otow Orchard as well as orange blossom honey from a valley citrus grove.  Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay has honey, bee pollen and boxes of beautiful comb honey.



HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm


Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm


Closed on Mondays

Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:
Santa Rosa Plums: Dark skin with yellow flesh. Sweet-tart taste with intense flavor and fragrance

Red Flesh Plums:
     Frontier
     Satsuma
     Burgundy
Yellow Freestone Peaches:
      Red Haven
      Suncrest

      Gene Elberta
      Delight
      Frost
White Freestone Peaches:
      Sugar Lady

      Silver Logan
      Babcock
Wild Blackberries
Eureka Lemons:  Tart
Hoshigaki:  whole and strips
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Tomatoes:  red, yellow, heirloom, Roma, cherry
Summer Squash
Cucumbers:

      Asian
      Lemon
      Armenian
Asian eggplant

Okra (limited supply)
Long Beans (limited supply)
Sweet Peppers (limited supply)
Honey
Persimmon Pulp


Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown): June Pride and Suncrest
Lani's Garden:  Lettuce, American eggplant, Jalapeno peppers and Anaheim peppers.
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln
Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, comb honey, and bee pollen.
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade



      

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

PEACHES, TOMATOES AND THE 4TH OF JULY

        Plans or no plans for the 4th of July, we have peaches and tomatoes.  The tomatoes are just starting to come in.  Red slicing tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and a few cherry tomatoes. We also have crisp, tender, and tasty Asian cucumbers for salads or a relish plate.   Eggplants and peppers are also getting ready for harvest.
       New this year are vegetables from Lani's Garden.  Lani gardens around the corner from us in Granite Bay.  So far she has brought us leaf lettuce, American eggplants, Jalapeno peppers and Anaheim peppers.   Keep watching to see what else she grows.
       Also ready for the celebration are several yellow freestone peach varieties.  Red Haven and June Pride are our favorites and we also have Regina, PF-11 and Flavorcrest.  Sunnyslope Farm is bringing us Flavorcrest, June Pride and maybe a few White Lady peaches.  Time to start making peach pie, peach cobbler and peach crisp.  You can ask us for a recipe.
     Red Beaut plums are about finished but we have a great supply of Santa Rosa plums with their memorable flavor.  There are also some sweet plums with pinkish red flesh called Frontier.
       For now we are getting about a box of black mission figs every two days.  It is a nice looking burber crop, but it might not last long.

      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as strips or whole pieces.   Give us a call if you want to order by mail so we can discuss the possibilities.  We are hesitant to ship mail orders due to the heat. (916) 791-1656


      
      There are several local honey choices at this time. Nastase Honey Farm has a cute honey bear with raw, unfiltered honey.  Our own beekeeper has honey from Otow Orchard as well as orange blossom honey from a valley citrus grove.  Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay has honey, bee pollen and boxes of beautiful comb honey.


HOURS:
Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm

Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm

Closed on Mondays

Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Santa Rosa Plums: Dark skin with yellow flesh. Sweet-tart taste with intense flavor and fragrance
Frontier Plums: Dark skin, sweet, red flesh.
Flavorcrest Peach:  Yellow freestone
Regina Peach:  Yellow freestone
June Pride:  Yellow freestone peach
Red Haven peach: Yellow freestone with a distinct flavor 
PF-11: Yellow freestone peach
Sugar Lady: White freestone peach (limited supply)
Figs: Black Mission
Eureka Lemons:  Tart
Hoshigaki:  whole and strips
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm

Tomatoes
Summer Squash

Cucumbers:  Asian and Lemon
Asian eggplant


Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown)
Lani's Garden:  Lettuce, American eggplant, Jalapeno peppers and Anaheim peppers.

Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln 
Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Top O' the Hill Apiary:  Honey, comb honey, and bee pollen.
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade



 

      

Monday, June 22, 2020

TIME TO MAKE JAM

     Santa Rosa Plums came on quickly.  Now is the time to make plum jam.  Santa Rosa, with their fabulous balance of sweet and tart, and wonderful fragrance, make an especially delicious jam.  
      I use 5 pounds of Santa Rosa plums and a box of pectin to make a batch of jam.  I often need to boil the jam a little longer (3 to 7 min) than recommended since our fruit usually has more  juice than expected.  The skins make it a deep magenta color.

      Peaches are now coming into the farm stand with a little more reliability.  Red Haven, Regina and Flavorcrest are three yellow freestone varieties that we are currently harvesting.  At this point we often advise customers to leave them on the counter for a day so they can mature and develop more flavor and juice. 

       It will be just a tease.  We had a few figs for sale last weekend.  The early crop (burber) of figs got burned in that late frost we had.  Only a few escaped and are now maturing.  Look for the next crop of figs to appear in late July or August.

      We are selling hoshigaki from last season.  It is available at the farm stand as strips or whole pieces.   Give us a call if you want to order by mail so we can discuss the possibilities.  We are hesitant to ship mail orders due to the heat. (916) 791-1656




HOURS:

Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm

Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm

Closed on Mondays

Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Santa Rosa Plums: Dark skin with yellow flesh. Sweet-tart taste with intense flavor and fragrance
Red Beaut Plums: Red skin, yellow flesh, juicy, mildly sweet flavor
Frontier Plums: Dark skin, sweet, red flesh.
Flavorcrest Peach:  Yellow freestone
Regina Peach:  Yellow freestone
Red Haven peach: Yellow freestone with a distinct flavor
Jade Nectarine:  White flesh
Figs: Black Mission (limited supply)
Valencia Orange:  Sweet and juicy
Eureka Lemons:  Tart
Hoshigaki:  whole and strips
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm
Summer Squash

Asian cucumbers
Asian eggplant
Tomato plants

Here is what we have from other producers:
Yellow Peaches from Sunnyslope Farm (conventionally grown)
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln

Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade

Monday, June 15, 2020

SANTA ROSA PLUMS

We are at the beginning of the Santa Rosa Plum harvest. The flavor and fragrance of these heirloom plums is remarkable.  I guess that is why they have been so popular with people for a long time.  This fruit has definite flavor.  They are not only great for fresh eating but also make a spectacular jam.

     Many customers are patiently waiting for peaches. We hope to get them rolling into the farm stand soon.  We just can't hurry nature along or we will all be disappointed.  By the end of June I hope we will begin to harvest three yellow freestone peaches:  Red Haven, Regina and Flavorcrest.

When harvested, fruit come with a protective coating of yeast.
     While waiting for peaches, don't miss out on Royal Blenheim apricots.  They often have a hint of green on the skin. We find them to be tastier with a bit of texture. 


 

Official Statement:  We have NO pick your own activities.

HOURS:
Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm
Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:
Royal Blenheim Apricots: Sweet and flavorful with a background of tartness.  

Red Beaut Plums: Red skin, yellow flesh, juicy, mildly sweet flavor.
Santa Rosa Plums: Dark skin with yellow flesh. Sweet-tart taste with intense flavor and fragrance.
Valencia Orange:  Sweet and juicy.
Yellow Grapefruit:  Yellow flesh, sweet and tasty.
Eureka Lemons:  Tart.
Hoshigaki:  whole and strips
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard.
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm.
Summer Squash
Tomato plants

Here is what we have from other farms:
Yellow Peaches from Sunny slope Farm (conventionally grown) (limited supply)
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln

Orange Blossom Honey from our bee keeper
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, and Quince Marmalade



Saturday, June 6, 2020

FEELS LIKE SUMMER

      The Farm Stand is now open in its new format.  Wear a face covering, maintain 6-foot spacing,  one customer at a time, we will serve you from behind the plexiglass window.  On the table you can view pre-measured trays of plums, pluots, peaches, and oranges.

     Triple digit temperatures did not wait  for actual summer to grill us.  We have been closely monitoring the trees need for water and adjusting the frequency and duration of the irrigation.   We, ourselves, are reminded to drink  more water.

     Amazingly, peaches, plums, and pluots are responding to the warmer weather and longer days.  We are now harvesting Red Beaut plums and Flavorrosa pluots. We have harvested  a small crop of 4 varieties of early peaches. They sold about as fast as we could pick them.  Now there is a brief pause in harvest of peaches till the next varieties are ready. Hoshigaki is available in the Farm Stand, along with local honey, Calendula Salve, eggs and jam.

       Although the peaches  from Otow Orchard are limited at this time, we do have peaches from Sunnyslope Farm in Granite Bay.  They are bringing us Bon Jour yellow freestone peaches.  Small but very tasty.

Official Statement:  We have NO pick your own activities.

HOURS:
Tues through Sat   10 am to 6 pm
Sun.                       11 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:
Yellow peaches (limited supply).
Red Beaut Plums: Red skin, yellow flesh, juicy, mildly sweet flavor.
Flavorrosa Pluots:  Dark skin, red firm flesh, intense flavor (limited supply).
Flavor Supreme Pluots:  Mottled green skin, firm sweet juicy red flesh (limited supply).
Loquat (limited supply).
Valencia Orange:  Sweet and juicy.
Yellow Grapefruit:  Yellow flesh, sweet and tasty.
Eureka Lemons:  Tart.
Hoshigaki:  whole and strips
Honey from bees at Otow Orchard.
Calendula Salve and Lip Balm.
Summer Squash
Tomato plants

Here is what we have from other farms:
Yellow Peaches from Sunny slope Farm (conventionally grown)
Honey from Nastase Honey Farm in Lincoln
Eggs from Two Feather Farm in Granite Bay
Jams from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum (Santa Rosa), Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Pepper Pomegranate, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade








 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

"X" MARKS THE SPOT


"X" marks the spot, one customer at a time, frequent hand sanitizing, stay home if you are sick, wear a mask.   We all know the routine by now.  For those of us who have not been personally touched by the virus, I am  thankful that others are keeping us safe.  THANK YOU  for following these guidelines:

          1.     Stay home if you are sick.
          2.     Observe 6 feet physical distancing
          3.     Frequent hand sanitizing.
          4.     Wear a face covering.
          5.     Always wash your fruits and veggies.
          6.     Stand behind the plexiglass, we  will serve you.
      At this point  produce is sparse, If you are interested, please text me ahead to see if I have a supply.  916-300-0720  Due to telemarketers I do not answer unrecognized phone calls. So please  TEXT.
         The mulberries are starting to mature.  We are picking a few and they are available occasionally in the farm stand.  Call to make sure.
          Spring Rose is our first peach of the year.  As a white peach, it is low acid.  As a white peach it can be eaten firm or a little soft. As a white peach it is delicate.  As a early white peach it is just an early peach.  Later peaches will get more of everything we desire in a peach.  Call if you want us to reserve any for you.
         All around the neighborhood we see little orange loquat ripening on landscape trees.  Our loquat, on the other hand, are taking their time.  They are just hinting at some color.
        In the citrus department we have large lemons, yellow grapefruit and Valencia oranges.
        Hoshigaki is available at the farm stand and through mail order while the weather is cool.  For mail order please go to the  order form
       We have honey from Nastase Honey farm in Lincoln, Otow Calendula salve and lip balm, and jams from The Good Stuff.
        



 

I went out (May 19) to take pictures of ripening fruit but got distracted by a dramatic gallery of cloud pictures.  Happily, we did not get hail this time around.

  
These green plums and peaches will be mature and ready to eat in 6 weeks.

       Thank you to the many people who inquired about ume.  I wish we had enough for everyone, but it was not to be this year.  If you would like to be notified next year when the crop comes in, please let us know.  email:  otoworchard@yahoo.com

        Thank you to the many customers old and new who have called asking when we will open.  At this time, we are asking people to text me to make an order or appointment.  916-300-0720  Due to telemarketers I do not answer unrecognized phone calls. So please  TEXT.  When we hear the land line ringing we will answer, (even if it is a telemarketer).  Land line number is 916-791-1656.


Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.

  HOURS

Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm 

Sun: 11 am to 5 pm


 Closed on Mondays





  

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

UME AND HOSHIGAKI

          The 20 ume (Japanese sour plum) trees that we planted 5 years ago have decided to put on a nice crop this year.  If you are interested in purchasing any this year please email us at:  otoworchard@yahoo.com.   
       Looks like the farm stand will be closed for at least another 4 weeks.  Although the farm stand is closed we are busy working every day.
            In the past 2 weeks we have been removing vetch (aggressive vining legume) under trees, cutting and stacking firewood, spreading decomposed horse manure, chopping brush and mowing grass, transplanting tomato plant starts to 4" pots, grafting trees, pruning kiwi, repairing the manure spreader, repairing the manure spreader, and repairing the manure spreader.  Removing frost damaged ume from trees, installing plywood flooring 
          in the cool room, inventorying trees removed, planted and grafted, checking irrigation, making beds in the vegetable gardens, re-pruning the grapes and putting down weed block cloth.  Now we are starting to thin our summer crops.
       As long as the weather stays cool you can order mail order hoshigaki using this link to the order form. 
       Stay safe and be well.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19 CLOSURE

In support of the community effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, we will be closed until conditions warrant reopening the farm stand.

Thinning Ume, Jappanese plums.  The water shoots have many unwanted small fruit.





Young tomato plants relaxing in the hot house.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

ORCHARD IN BLOOM

A little early, but spring seems to be here or summer is on its way.  White and pink blossoms are showing off the orchard.  If you would like to see the flowers, you are welcome to come for a walk.  This show will not last very long, so now is the time.  Soon we will see miniature green fruit on the trees.  Please check our modified hours listed below.

        We are preparing to plant new trees. Old trees have been removed and new holes are being dug.  Mulch is being delivered to the planting sites.   This year we are planting new apple, plum, peach, pluot and persimmon trees.

        With the dry weather the vegetable gardens have not had to fight so many weeds.  We are preparing the beds for planting.  In the hot house  we have planted tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds.  It is exciting to watch them germinate and show up as little green leaves and stems.

       In the farm stand it is definitely citrus season.  There are blood oranges, white grapefruit, and navel oranges from  our orchard.  Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln brought us Cara Cara oranges (pink interior), Navel oranges and Eureka lemons. There are pink grapefruit from Mihara Farm, in Lincoln. We also have a good crop of Kiwi for sale.

      Some people are looking for local honey at this time of year.  We have raw  wildflower honey from Granite Bay and unfiltered, raw honey from Lincoln.  The Otow Orchard  honey is sold out until the bees have a chance to collect more.  This should happen sometime in May or June.  Currently the hives are working in an almond orchard and then onto an orange grove before heading home to us.

       Slowly we are working on the finishing stages for hoshigaki. We are sorting and packaging them for sale in the farm stand or vacuum sealing them for longer storage in the freezer.  Since the weather is cool, we continue to fill mail order requests for hoshigaki.  If you would like to order, please click here for mail order form.





Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.


  SLOW SEASON HOURS

      Tues, Wed, Thur:      11:30 am  to  1:30 pm       
Fri, Sat:      10 am to 6 pm
Sun:            11 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays

    
WE ASK THAT YOU KINDLY DO NOT DISTURB DURING NON BUSINESS HOURS.   For other times please call my mobile phone.  You must leave a message if you are not already in my phone.   (916) 300-0720.  We are often here someplace and will gladly arrange to help you.  We normally return to regular hours in May.

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:

Kiwi
Hoshigaki: dried persimmons
Citrus:  Blood Orange, Navel Oranges, White Grapefruit
Rosemary
Calendula salve and lip balm

Nuts:  Walnuts and Pecans 
Dried or dehydrated fruit:  apples, peaches, jujube

This is what we have from other producers: 
Pleasant Hill Farm:  Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Eureka lemons

Mihara Farm:  Pink grapefruit
Jams from The Good Stuff
Bee pollen from Top O' The Hill Apiary
Honey from Top O' The Hill Apiary

Honey(Unfiltered) from Nastase Honey Farm
Eggs from Two Feather Farm

        

Thursday, February 6, 2020

OFF SEASON HOURS

     Farm Stand hours for  Friday, Saturday and Sunday will remain the same as always.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will have a couple midday hours. And as always we are closed on Mondays. See the abbreviated hours listed below.
 
      Now that the Satsuma Mandarins are finished it is time for others to take their place.  We have Clementine Mandarins and Navel and Blood Oranges from our orchard.  There are Eureka Lemons, and Cara Cara and Navel Oranges from Pleasant Hill Orchard in Newcastle.  Also from Newcastle are Pink Grapefruit from Mihara Farm.
       Slowly we are working on the finishing stages for hoshigaki. We are sorting and packaging them for sale in the farm stand or vacuum sealing them for longer storage in the freezer.  Since the weather is cool, we continue to fill mail order requests for hoshigaki.  If you would like to order, please click here for mail order form.

     The leaves have fallen and most trees are taking a break.  The ume, Japanese apricot, however, are in full bloom.  We have both pink and white blossoms appearing. The bees come by on any dry day for a sip of nectar.   We are working on the pruning.  We try to minimize disease by pruning peaches and plums only when there is a dry spell.  When it is wet or threat of rain we prune persimmons.  The tractor driver is busy spreading decomposed horse manure and rototilling vegetable gardens. We are checking the orchard and trees for potential grafting and planting sites.
     Our bare root fruit trees have arrived. We have plums, peaches, apples and Fuyu persimmon trees.  If you are interested in purchasing any of these trees, please come by or give us a call.  Those that are not sold or reserved will be planted in our orchard in the next few weeks.


Official Statement: We have NO pick-your-own activities.


  SLOW SEASON HOURS

      Tues, Wed, Thur:      11:30 am  to  1:30 pm       
Fri, Sat:      10 am to 6 pm
Sun:          11 am to5 pm
Closed on Mondays

    
WE ASK THAT YOU KINDLY DO NOT DISTURB DURING NON BUSINESS HOURS.   For other times please call my mobile phone.  You must leave a message if you are not already in my phone.   (916) 300-0720.  We are often here someplace and will gladly arrange to help you.  We normally return to regular hours in May.

Here's what we have in the farm stand from Otow Orchard:
Apples:   Fuji

Kiwi
Hoshigaki: dried persimmons
Citrus:  Clementine Mandarins, Blood Orange, Navel Oranges
Rosemary
Calendula salve and lip balm

Nuts:  Walnuts and Pecans 
Dried or dehydrated fruit:  apples, peaches.

This is what we have from other producers: 
Pleasant Hill Farm:  Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Eureka lemons

Mihara Farm:  Pink grapefruit
Jams from The Good Stuff
Bee pollen from Top O' The Hill Apiary
Honey from Top O' The Hill Apiary
Comb Honey from Top O' The Hill Apiary 

Honey(Unfiltered) from Nastase Honey Farm
Eggs from Two Feather Farm


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