Monday, August 30, 2010

Organic Plant Sale this Coming Weekend

This Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 4th and 5th), Peas and Harmony will have an organic vegetable and herb plant sale at our orchard.  

They'll have Fall and Winter garden plants such as onions, broccoli, cauliflower, mustards, cabbages, lettuce mixes, arugula and Asian greens.  For more info about the sale, see .

This Fall, we won't have organic plants for sale from Peas and Harmony over an extended period of time.  The sale will be just for this weekend.  If you need to make arrangements to pick up plants at other times though, you can contact Julie or Alison through the website.

End of Summer, Start of Fall

We've had amazingly fluctuating weather this past week.  On Wednesday it was 108 degrees, then on Saturday the high was 76 degrees with a few sprinklings of rain.  It was like July and October in the space of a few days.  Towards the end of this week the temperatures are supposed to reach above 100 again. 

Because of cool and fluctuating weather during the spring and summer, tomato harvest started very late this year, and seems to be at its peak right now in my garden.  Over the weekend I picked lots of boxes of tomatoes, along with the first winter squash.  The squash is a bit early, and the tomato peak is about a month late.

In the orchard, Faye Alberta peaches are all picked and we moved on to Rio Oso Gem and O'Henry's.  Now we have just a few more trees of late variety peaches left to pick for the fruit stand.  We harvested a lot of ripe figs from the fig trees and we have sweet grapes from the Koyama farm next door.   

Here's what's at the fruitstand now:

  • Figs--Black Mission, brown variety
  • Grapes--Ribier (seedless, purple, limited quantity)
  • Peaches--Faye Elberta, Rio Oso Gem, O'Henry (all yellow freestone varieties); and Philip (yellow cling)
  • Plums--Casselman, Kelsey, Friar, Elephant Heart, Duarte
  • Asian Pear--Hosui and Shinseiki (yellow varieties) and Shinko and Yoi (brown varieties)
  • European Pear--Bartlett
  • Vegetables--tomatoes, eggplant (Ichiban and Listada de Gandia), green beans (Kentucky Wonder),  bitter melon, sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash,  tomatillos, Swiss chard, oregano, mint
  • Eggs--from chickens at our orchard
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon is in season now.  We grow two types of bitter melon, a spikey, more pointed type and a smoother, more oblong variety.  We try to pick them green, but a few have ripened to yellow and peeled open like a flower to reveal sticky and sweet bright red seeds inside. The photos at the left and below show a bitter melon that's just starting to open. 

Bitter melon is in the squash family and is mostly used like a summer squash.  The texture is like chayote or cucumber.   Bitter melon is supposed to be medicinal and good for digestion.  Salting and rinsing it takes away some of the bitterness, but some of it always remains.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Faye Elberta Peach Time

Faye Elberta peaches are now ripe at the orchard.  We still have 49'er, Rio Oso Gem, Suncrest, and Gene Elberta peaches, too.  If you'd like flats of Peach seconds for canning or freezing, let us know ahead of time and we'll reserve some for you to pick up at the fruit stand.  You can either call or stop by and ask.

Faye Elberta peaches are part of Slow Food's Ark of taste, along with quite a few other varieties of peaches and plums that we have available right now.  Rio Oso Gem, Suncrest and Silver Logan  are all peach varieties included in the Ark of Taste.  Elephant Heart, Mariposa and Laroda are all varieties of plums that we have in the fruit stand now that are also included in Slow Food's Ark of Taste. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kelsey Plums

Kelsey plums are very large green heart-shaped plums that are yellow inside when they're first picked.  Although Kelsey plums are sweet and ready to eat even when firm and green on the outside,  as they get softer the skin and inside becomes yellow to pink.  You can eat them in all their different stages of color and texture.  Kelsey is an old  variety of Japanese plum similar to European Green Gage plums.

 In the photo above you can see a box of just-picked Kelseys with a natural wax bloom that makes them look blueish.  In the photo below, a Kelsey is cut open so you can see the inside.  We now have Kelseys for sale in the fruit stand in various stages, from green to yellow-red. 

The Fruit Stand is Full

We have 11 different varieties of plums harvested right now.  There are so many that there's not enough room to display them all, so if you don't see particular variety out, just ask us.

We now have lots of tomatoes too, including large to small red tomatoes, sun gold cherry , black cherry and Cherokee purple

Some of the first variety of Asian pear, Kikusui, was picked over the weekend so there's a small supply for sale.

Here's what's currently at the fruit stand: 

  • Peaches--Suncrest, Gene Alberta, 49'er (all yellow freestone varieties); Sugar Lady, Nectar, Babcock, White Lady, Arctic White  (all white freestone varieties)
  • Nectarines--Flavortop (yellow variety)
  • Plums--Kelsey, Black Amber, Friar, El Dorado, Laroda, Santa Rosa, Frontier, Mariposa, Elephant Heart, Duarte, French Prune
  • Pluots--Dapple Dandy, Flavor Queen
  • Asian Pear--Kikisui 
  • Blackberrries
  • Melons--Break Fast, Ambrosia, Ogen (Israeli Dessert melon)  
  • Vegetables--Tomatoes, Eggplant (Ichiban and Listada de Gandia), green beans (Kentucky Wonder), long beans,  sweet peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, onions, Swiss chard, oregano, mint
  • Eggs--from chickens at our orchard
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard

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