Monday, June 13, 2022

A LITTLE EARLY THIS YEAR

 

          We have been connected to farming all of our lives.  We didn't earn the title of farm operator till 22 years ago.  Still, every year is like no other we can remember.  Each year there are surprises and differences.  When people ask about crops I am learning to add that every year is different and I can't reliably predict.  I thought things were going to mature later than usual this year but as it turns out, early fruit was a bit earlier. We have already finished 4 varieties of early peaches and about ready to start the mid season peaches.  Suddenly there is the fragrance of Santa Rosa plums filling the air in the farm stand. Santa Rosas don't usually come on till mid June. 

       Check out our Facebook page:  Chris Otoworchard

       Mid season peaches:  Flavorcrest, Red Haven and Regina are getting some color.  We are now selling Flavorcrest peaches in the farm stand.  These are firm crisp yellow freestone peaches. They  have red skin and good flavor. As you wait they get sweeter and juicier.

        Also a little early are the apricots.  The large round Robada apricots came and are now gone.  We seem to have a decent crop of Royal Blenheim apricots.  Although small in size, they are big in flavor, juicy and sweet.  A popular heirloom variety.

        Citrus fruit are still available in the farm stand.  We have both white and pink grapefruit, Eureka lemons, and Valencia oranges,  all are great for juicing.

        Our tomatoes will not be ready till July. The vines are growing but the fruit is still green.  Sungold cherry tomatoes are starting to color. Hope to have a basket of them by mid June. 

       WoodRose Country Garden is a step ahead of us in the tomato department.  Start looking for her tomatoes in a week. She is currently bringing us summer squash, potatoes, onions, herbs, basil,  peas and beans.



       

          

REGULAR  SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY  10:00  TO  6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS




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

Plums:  Santa Rosa: Dark red purple skin over yellow flesh.  These are an all time favorite for their sweet tart burst of flavor and fragrance.

Apricots:  Royal: small and flavorful

Valencia oranges:  These are great for juicing or just eating.

Yellow grapefruit :  sweet tart and very flavorful

Eureka lemons πŸ‹ these are sour

Peaches:  Flavorcrest a sweet, firm yellow freestone peach.

Hachiya:  frozen pulp

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard 

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis (organic certified): Pink grapefruit.

WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay: (organic practices) Red, white and purple potatoes, beans, snow peas, πŸ₯¬lettuce, white bulb onions πŸ§…, Greek oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil.  If you are lucky, there may be a tomato or two.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

 

Monday, May 23, 2022

STARTING OUT SLOWLY

        Starting in June we will return to our regular hours. Please keep checking our hours as they may fluctuate depending on the availability of personnel.  By the way, we are still looking for someone to work in and around the farm stand.  If interested in this position, please contact us.

        The Ume, Japanese sour plum, harvest is starting to wind down.  Please let us know if you need any this year. The ume look cleaner and larger this year but the crop is not so big.  We also have smaller speckled ume from a no spray farm in Loomis and small conventional ume from a Granite Bay farm.

        It is just a tease. We have a few peaches.  They may be gone before you know it.  Spring Rose, an early white peach, had a very short harvest.  Sold out quickly.  We are harvesting Springcrest and Maycrest now  Both are yellow fleshed early peaches. We should have a limited supply for about a week.  I am hoping we have a small but decent crop of Junecrest. Then we will have to wait till the Flavorcrest, Regina and Red Haven start to mature about mid June.

        We are waiting patiently for  Loquat to ripen adequately.  Loquat are a subtopical fruit that ripens in late spring.  It is only about an inch in diameter  and orange in color.  Between the downy skin and the large seeds is juicy sweet sour flesh.  So refreshing after a winter absent of fleshy fruit.  Their season is starting and so far we have only picked a few.

        On the horizon are apricots, figs and summer squash.

        WoodRose Country Garden in Granite Bay is supplying us with vegetables. Lately it has been lettuce, spinach, beans, peas, onions, potatoes, and herbs. There is a rumor that their tomatoes will be early.

        Our own gardens are off to a slow start. Please be patient. They are just getting their roots established.  This summer we should be feeding you squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, okra and peppers.



REGULAR  SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY  10:00  TO6:00

SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS






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

Valencia oranges (limited supply) for juicing or just eating.

Yellow grapefruit :  sweet tart and very flavorful

Eureka lemons πŸ‹ these are sour

Peaches:  Junecrest, Springcrest and Maycrest:  yellow freestone

Loquat:  one inch orange, subtropical fruit. Sweet sour flesh between downy skin and large seed. (limited supply)

Red Beaut plums: yellow fleshed early plum. (limited supply)

Robada apricots: Large firm apricot with a red blush and aromatic (limited supply)

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Ume:  Japanese sour plums. These need to be processed with sugar, salt, honey or alcohol.       

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis (organic certified): Pink grapefruit.

WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay: (organic practices) Red, white and purple potatoes, beans, snow peas, πŸ₯¬lettuce, arugula, spinach, white bulb onions πŸ§…, green onions, Greek oregano, rosemary, thyme. 

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

UME SEASON

         Mid April freeze defined the outcome for many crops this year.  We see damage in some of the apples, grapes, plums and  persimmons.  There are no mulberries and no early apricots. With cool early morning temperatures we are just now getting our summer vegetable crops in the ground.  It's a slow start but maybe the production will last longer  into the fall.

         However little, recent rains 🌧 have been welcome.  The moisture has allowed us to reduce hours of irrigation and the cooler  temperature has reduced moisture loss due to evaporation.   Some areas received hail damage.  We managed to dodge a severe hail storm so far.

        The workers are now thinning Asian pears.  They are also busy weed eating around the base of trees.  Weeds are happy with the rain we have been getting.  We would like to get out and mow the row middles but that will have to wait till the tractor gets repaired. If you come for a walk in the orchard you will notice that we  have a healthy crop of weeds. πŸ™

        We are now watching the loquat slowly coloring.  They are a pale yellow, not quite ready for harvest.

         Ume (sour Japanese plum) is getting some size and a little less green.  The crop is lighter than last year.  Ume is used in Asian cultures to make pickles, jam, or flavorings for drinks. If you want ume, please let us know very soon so we can add you to our list.  Call us at (916) 300 0720 or send us an email at otoworchard@yahoo.com.  We may possibly get some ume from other producers.

        Vegetables have started to come in from WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay.  This is a neighborhood farm that uses organic practices.   She is bringing us fresh potatoes, spinach, beans, peas, lettuce, arugula, and herbs.  Come check it out.

        Not too cold, not too hot, and just the right amount of sunlight.  This makes for happy hens that are glad to produce eggs.  If eggs have a season, it is now.  La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis has beautiful fresh brown eggs to show off.  Hope you will try a dozen.

        We are still looking for a part time worker.  If you know of a student, retired person, or someone who needs a little spending money we would love to interview him or her.  The job description is listed in the previous blog entry below. April 25. 2022.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


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

Valencia oranges (limited supply)

Yellow grapefruit

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Ume (pre orders only)        

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis (organic certified): Pink grapefruit.

WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay: (organic practices) Potatoes, beans, snow peas, πŸ₯¬lettuce, arugula, spinach, white bulb onions πŸ§…, green onions, cilantro, Greek oregano, rosemary, thyme.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

Monday, April 25, 2022

HELP WANTED

 

HELP WANTED

Job Posting: Temporary position, June to September 2022

Otow Orchard, 6232 Eureka Rd. Granite Bay

10 to 20 hrs. per week (hours vary by the season) $14 to $15 per hr.

Otow Orchard is a direct-to-consumer farm market. Personal contact with and respect for customers is important to building our business and our community. Produce is grown without sprays or chemical fertilizers. Harvest occurs when produce is mature and at its peak. We support local feeding programs and area farms.

We are looking for an honest, reliable, hardworking, self-directed individual who has an interest in growing good food. This is an opportunity to work day to day on a farm and learn about our crops and methods.

Job Title: Farm stand and produce associate

Job description:

Assist in farm stand marketing and sales.

Cleaning, inspecting, and restocking the display.

Maintain and clean the fruit stand area and farm yard.

Sorting produce for quality and distribution.

Harvest, irrigate and help maintain vegetable garden.

Build positive relationships with customers and coworkers.

Assignments may require use of hand tools and power tools.

Seasonally and with experience, the job description will change as needed.


Responsibilities:

Work safely and ask for help when needed.

Follow heat stress and food safety guidelines.

Be observant and report or take care of things that are out of line.

Clean up and put away tools and equipment.

Make good use of time.


Requirements:

Reliable transportation.

Commute less than 10 miles.

Be able to safely lift 40 pounds.

Work during extremes of weather: hot, cold, wet, dry.

Dependable attendance.

COVID vaccinated and boosted.

Good math basics.

Good communication skills (listening and speaking).


Please submit resume and inquiries in person or through email: otoworchard@yahoo.com

before May 24, 2022.






 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

LITTLE GREEN FRUITLETS

      Many little green fruitlets are now visible in the orchard. I have seen  plum, plout, peach, fig, apple and Asian pears.  We are starting to thin peaches, plums and pluots to get better size and quality.  It is a tedious and important task.  I like to stand on a ladder and listen to the "plink plink" sound the fruitlets make as they bounce off the aluminum ladder.

 

     We were tempted but glad we didn't.  The weather has been warming up so we thought about planting vegetables.  With the few cold mornimg we have been having, it would have been a sad start for them.  Hopefully we soon will be getting tomatoes, eggplants and  peppers  in the ground.  Also we will be seeding squash, cucumbers, beans, and okra.

 

      We are watching the ume, " Japanese pickling plum" slowly grow. If we can dodge hail and freezing weather for the next month, we will have a medium size crop.   If you want to reserve ume, please call us at (916) 791-1656 or email us at otoworchard@yahoo.com

GREEN UME
Sadly, this 100 year old tree will not produce ume again.

 

 


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


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

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Cilantro         

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

WoodRose Country Gardens  in Granite Bay:  πŸ₯• Organic carrots.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Quince Marmalade. 

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

PREPARING FOR SUMMER

       This time of year we get a little rest.  We are at the orchard every day but the hours are shorter.  Time is spent preparing the orchard and gardens for the pending crop, repairing, cleaning, and upgrading.   I am trying to insulate the ceiling in our cool room. A very frustrating task since I am not very tall and the room refuses to be square and plum. After hours of You Tube viewing, Tosh is converting fluorescent lights to LED lights.

       Summer fruit trees have bloomed.  We see little fruitlets  growing in the shelter of a dried blossom.  They grow quickly and we will soon be busy thinning down the crop so the remaining fruit are larger. Also we can remove the odd shaped  and smaller fruit.  We hope we can visit each tree  one time but if there is hail or a freeze we should return to remove damaged fruit.  

        Since the trees have woken up, we have started to irrigate.  We are thankful for the few rain storms we got in March.  A very welcome feeling.  Unfortunately not enough.  The trees need the water to survive and produce fruit.

       The hot house is nurturing vegetable plant starts.  We have started tomatoes, peppers and eggplants for our summer gardens. Many of the tomatoes have been transplanted from little seedling trays to 4 inch pots.  With the mild nights these plants spend day and night outside and are getting used to the outdoor elements.  As the days warm up we will begin direct seeding squash, beans, cucumbers and okra.

        Spring vegetables may start arriving in a couple weeks.  We look forward to carrots, peas, and potatoes from RoseWood Country Garden in Granite Bay. 

 

SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

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

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Cilantro         

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

106

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Quince Marmalade. 

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.





 

Monday, February 21, 2022

BLOSSOMS ANNOUNCE THE START OF A NEW SEASON

    Where is the rain, you know,  the wet stuff?  The coming season of produce really needs rain.  Not just rain but a snow pack up in the mountains would be a nice way to start the irrigation season.  We would like to wait another month before starting to irrigate but mother nature has to helps us out.  


     The Orchard is just starting to come alive.  Plum trees are in full bloom. Their branches are full of snow white blossoms.  Soon they will be followed by the pink blossoms of peach apricot and nectarine.  It is a nice time of year to view the blossoms if you want to go for a walk in the orchard.


     Out in the orchard  the stone fruit and pome fruit trees have been pruned and much of the prunings have been chopped up to return to the soil.  The persimmon pruning is still in the process. With the warm weather the orchard floor is greening up.  It looks beautiful but we know there are many competitive weeds in the mix.  Vetch is a mixed blessing.  While it is often recommended to fix nitrogen in the soil, it loves to grow  up the trunk and into the branches. We have to watch it carefully so we can get just the right benefit before it chokes the tree.  It is the time of year to think about grafting and planting new trees.  No new trees are going in this year.  We are looking at old trees and trees with suckers and trees that are not producing.  Some of these will be prepared for grafting. Usually we graft varieties that can no longer be found in the nursery. By grafting these varieties can be preserved.

 

      We are cleaning up our vegetable gardens and starting to add mulch. The first tray of tomato seeds is starting to germinate in the hot house.   I see 43 tiny tomato plants pushing their way out of the soil and spreading their leaves. We will keep planting more seeds for the next couple weeks.  As the weather warms we will start eggplant and pepper plants.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

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

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers.

Blood Oranges:  limited supply

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          
 

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. (limited supply)

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, and Quince Marmalade.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

SLOW SEASON HOURS

 The orchard is sleeping, it is preparing for the 2022 season. What it will produce depends on how much sleep it gets in the winter months.  We are reducing our farm stand hours till around mid May. That is when the early peaches, and loquat start to color.

 

SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

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

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Navel Oranges: limited supply

Blood Oranges:  limited supply

Clementine Mandarins:  limited supply

Apples:  🍎 Fuji  (limited supply)

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          


Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. (limited supply)

Winter squash:  Black Futsu and Kabocha. (Limited supply.)

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Mihara Farm in Newcastle:  Kiwi

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Orange Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

COOLER WEATHER

           We are transitioning into the needs of another year:  pruning, cleaning up the orchard, cleaning up the hoshigaki rooms, ordering seeds, sorting old boxes, cleaning buckets, repairing equipment, etc.  Most of the orchard is dormant.  Leaves have fallen, branches are bare. Garden debris is waiting to be removed or has been incorporated.  Yet, here and there in the orchard we see a citrus tree preparing for harvest or a Japanese apricot tree pushing pink or white blossoms.  So the cycle continues.

       In the citrus department we have a few Satsuma and Clementine Mandarins, and some Navel and Blood Oranges.  We are waiting for Eureka lemons and yellow grapefruit.  Lupi farm in Granite Bay is bringing us bright yellow Meyer Lemons.

HOURS:

 Tues. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

 Sunday 11 am to 5 pm 

 Closed on Mondays

 

 

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

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Apples:  🍎 Fuji  (limited supply)

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

Red Pomegranates: These pomegranates have dark red arils that are sweet and tangy. A brilliant taste. (limited supply)

Persimmons:

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          

 

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. 

Winter squash:  Black Futsu and Kabocha. (Limited supply.)

Pecans

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Mihara Farm in Newcastle:  Kiwi

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Two Feather Farm: πŸ”πŸ₯š Eggs. (Extremely limited supply. As the days lengthen, we will begin to see egg production go up. The height of production is usually March, April and May.)

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.

Monday, January 17, 2022

JANUARY 17, 2022 HOSHIGAKI UPDATE

 

      The drying of hoshigaki for the 2021 season has finished.  We are still processing a few late season hoshigaki.  At this time we are no longer accepting new mail orders since the quantity and quality is in limbo.  We predict that we will begin the process again in October 2022 and will start accepting orders at that time.  The persimmon trees are dormant at this time and it is hard to predict the condition of the next harvest before there are even blossoms on the trees.

      Thank you for your  support and interest in hoshigaki.  We plan to downsize if we don't come up with additional help during November.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

HERE COMES 2022 AND HOSHIGAKI UPDATE

          2022 will soon be here. I am looking forward to another good year of seasonal fruit. These days we cannot count on the weather to bring expected seasonal conditions. Weather and other events are challenging and sometimes unexpected. Fruit and vegetables live and grow in the outdoors so they are more sensitive to any changes however minor.

 

           Unusual and even amazing this season is that we are still selling Fuyu persimmons, courtesy of our warmer fall weather. Persimmons often begin to soften when there is cool weather down in the 40 degrees. This did not happen till after Thanksgiving. The Fuyu we are selling are not as crisp as earlier. They are getting sweeter and more peach-like in texture.

           The hoshigaki process is still going on. In a couple weeks the process of making hoshigaki will be finished for the 2021 season. We will likely have extra that could be purchased and ordered. For hoshigaki that will be picked up at the farm stand, it is best if you call if you need more than a pound. If you want hoshigaki shipped to you, use the 2021 mail order form.  Hoshigaki orders are about filled and it looks like we have enough to continue taking orders. Although our family has been making hoshigaki for almost a century, I don't recall any history about persimmons plopping off the sepal as they were drying. We were alarmed to see this happen and stopped accepting new orders until we were assured that there would be product to sell. Sorry to have so many customers on hold. Every year is a new challenge. 

 

        Out in the orchard we finished picking the last of the mandarins. Not in time to save them from rain damage. I have many boxes of mandarins with light brown spots on them created by the rain sitting on the skin. Often the damage is only in the skin and the flesh is undamaged or only the section under the damaged skin is damaged. The rest of the mandarin is good. We often eat these ourselves. Better yet is squeezing them to make juice. It is so tasty, delicious and good for you. These mandarins have a lot of juice packed in them. In the next week or two you will be able to get these mandarins at a heavy discount. 

 

         Lupi Farm is a no spray farm in Granite Bay.  They are bringing us Meyer Lemons.  These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

 

 

HOURS:

 Tues. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

 Sunday 11 am to 5 pm 

 Closed on Mondays

 

 

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

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Apples:  🍎 Fuji  (limited supply)

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

Pink Pomegranates: These light skinned, Ambrosia, pomegranates have sweet pink arils.

Red Pomegranates: These pomegranates have dark red arils that are sweet and tangy. A brilliant taste. 

Persimmons:

Hachiya : These persimmons must be very soft to be enjoyed. They are sweet and succulent. They can be eaten out of hand, added to cereal, yogurt, or smoothies. These are used in baking cookies, breads, and puddings. 

Chocolate Persimmons: Maru, and Nagamaru (tsurunoko, chocolate),  are brown fleshed persimmons that can be eaten hard or softening. If they are successfully pollinated in the spring they will turn brown fleshed and sweet. These are getting soft and sweeter.

Fuyu: These popular yellow fleshed persimmons are always sweet. Normally enjoyed when they are hard and firm. This late in the year they are getting softer and sweeter.

Vodka Persimmons: These are brown or orange fleshed persimmons treated with Vodka to insure sweetness. Also getting softer and sweeter.

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. 

Winter squash:  Black Futsu and Kabocha. (Limited supply.)

Pecans

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln: Satsuma Mandarins 

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, known for flavor and fragrance.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Two Feather Farm: πŸ”πŸ₯š Eggs. (Extremely limited supply. As the days lengthen, we will begin to see egg production go up. The height of production is usually March, April and May.)

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.


 

Monday, December 6, 2021

GIFT IDEAS

       Quickly the gift giving season will be upon us. We have a few things that might please someone on your gift list. We have honey from our orchard as well as honey and beeswax from a neighboring apiary. The jams we carry are made by "The Good Stuff" using fruit from our orchard. The interesting flavors are Best Plum Jam, Chili Apricot, Peach Cardamon, Fig Orange Brandy, Chili Blackberry, Quince Marmalade, and Pepper Pomegranate. For those looking for ways to use persimmoins we have 2 cookbooks available. We have a limited supply of Calendula Salve and Lip Balm. New to our offerings is Luffa Soap. These bars of soap are great for the clean exfoliating feel. They come in several fragrances of essential oils: Lavendar, Eucalyptus, Citrus, and Cucumber Melon. Also on our shelf is the 2022 Master Gardener Calendar and Planting Guide. 

       We are getting a supply of Satsuma mandarins from Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln, a conventional farm. Ours take a little longer to mature. They will soon be ready. 


 

      HOSHIGAKI UPDATE: The process seems to be slow this year. We have stopped promising to fill new orders until we know we can fill the existing pre orders. There are still many hoshigaki hanging on the racks that have not been fully processed. We should know in a couple weeks what quality they will be. 

       Persimmons are still dominating the Farm Stand shelves. 

HOURS:

 Tues. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

 Sunday 11 am to 5 pm 

 Closed on Mondays 

 

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

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Apples: 🍏 Granny Smith, 🍎 Fuji, and 🍎Pink Lady 

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

White Pomegranates: These light skinned pomegranates have sweet pink arils.

Red Pomegranates: These pomegranates have dark red arils that are sweet and tangy. A brilliant taste. 

Persimmons:

Hachiya and Gyombo : These persimmons must be very soft to be enjoyed. They are sweet and succulent. They can be eaten out of hand, added to cereal, yogurt, or smoothies. These are used in baking cookies, breads, and puddings. 

Chocolate Persimmons: Maru, Nagamaru (tsurunoko, chocolate), and Hyakume are brown fleshed persimmons that can be eaten hard or softening. If they are successfully pollinated in the spring they will turn brown fleshed and sweet.

Fuyu: These popular yellow fleshed persimmons are always sweet. Normally enjoyed when they are hard and firm. 

Vodka Persimmons: These are brown or orange fleshed persimmons treated with Vodka to insure sweetness. 

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. 

Winter squash: Butternut, Black Futsu and Kabocha. 

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

Here is what we have from other producers: 

Sunnyslope Farm: Granny Smith Apples 

Pleasant Hill Farm in Lincoln: Satsuma Mandarins 

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey. Top of the Hill Apiary also has Bees wax 🐝. 

Two Feather Farm: πŸ”πŸ₯š Eggs. Egg production is slowing down. 

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.

Royal Oaks Farm: Luffa Soap: Hand made and great for scrubbing and exfoliating your skin. Lavendar, Citrus, Eucalyptus, and Cucumber Melon fragrances.

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