Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We have many varieties of Asian pears (or nashi) ripe at the orchard now.  Asian pear varieties we have are hosui, (an early, juicy brown variety), yoi and shinko which are light brown, sweet, crisp and juicy.  We also have New Century and 20th Century Asian pears.  Both are larger round yellow varieties, with 20th Century being more green-yellow when ripe and very crisp.  Asian pears are supposed to be eaten when they're crisp like an apple, rather than soft like European pears.  They're very refreshing and juicy, especially if you eat them from the refrigerator on a hot day.  They can also be used fresh in salads or cooked like European pears and apples in pies and other desserts.

We still have lots of tomatoes coming in from the gardens, too.  This year heirloom tomatoes grew well in the unusual weather, so we have a lot more than usual.  If you need tomatoes for canning or freezing we still have a good supply.

Along with honey from bees at our orchard, we now have star thistle honey from Lincoln at the fruit stand, too.  

At the fruit stand we have:

  • Asian Pear--Hosui, Kosui, Yoi, Shinko, New Century, 20th Century
  • Plums--Casselman, Kelsey, Friar, Laroda
  • European Pear--Bartlett 
  • Apples--Red Delicious, Golden Delicious
  • Figs--Kadota, Black Mission
  • Grapes--Thompson
  • Vegetables--tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, long beans, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, basil, oregano, mint
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard, starthistle honey from Lincoln
  • Eggs

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Faye Elberta Peaches, Casselman Plums

New fruits at the orchard are Asian Pears, Faye Alberta peaches, Casselman plums, and fresh figs.   Casselman plums are purple-red on the outside and yellow-orange, juicy and tangy sweet on the inside.  They're the last major type of plum we pick at the orchard.  We're  getting towards the end of peach season with Faye Elbertas and moving on to more fall fruits with the first varieties of Asian pears (Hosui and Kikusui).  Bartlett pears have been picked, too.  We harvested a small supply of white Kadota figs and expect Black Mission figs a little later on.

In the gardens the tomatoes seem to be at their peak.  The tomatoes that hung hung green on the vines so long this summer are now ripening quickly.  The Fruit Stand is full of all types and sizes of tomatoes, including cherry, paste and heirloom varieties. 

Now is a good time to put in orders for tomatoes and peaches for canning or freezing.  We also have "seconds", which are damaged fruit and  tomatoes that sell for less, but don't look as nice and have spots that you may have to cut out.

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

  • Peaches--Faye Elberta, Alamar
  • Plums--Casselman, Kelsey, Friar, Laroda, Eldorado
  • Asian Pear--Hosui, Kikusui
  • European Pear--Bartlett 
  • Figs--Kadota
  • Vegetables--tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, long beans, sweet peppers, zucchini, summer squash,  tomatillos, Swiss chard, basil, oregano, mint
  • Eggs--from chickens at our orchard
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Full in the Fruit Stand

We have so many varieties of plums right now that there's hardly space for them inside the fruit stand.  They all have  different flavor, texture, sweetness, and color.  Kelsey,  one of the varieties we've just started picking, is large, green and heart-shaped with a yellow inside.  Kelsey  plums are sweet and sour tasting while they're very green, then as they soften and start to turn yellow and then red they become sweeter and juicier.  Satsuma is a small sweet firm plum that's with red skin and flesh.  Black Amber and Friar are large, black-skinned and juicy with a yellow inside.  Santa Rosa is red-skinned, fragrant and tangy-sweet, while Laroda is purple-skinned and tangy-sweet.  Eldorado is small, and sweet even while firm, with a purple skin and dark yellow inside. 

Since the weather here has been cooler this year, blackberries are still in season.  Normally the berries have dried up by the middle to end of July, but this year the berries flowered and had fruit later.  

Eggplants, zucchini, summer squash, and cucumbers are growing well in the gardens and thankfully the tomatoes have finally started ripening fast enough so that we can harvest more than a few a day.  We still have a limited amount of tomatoes compared to what we'd expect to have at this time of the summer.  Last year I complained about how late the tomato season started, but this year it's been a month later than that, so I think I should stop complaining.  At least now we have enough tomatoes to be able to put them out in the fruit stand.  

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

  • Peaches--Suncrest, Gene Alberta, 49'er, Elegant Lady (all yellow freestone varieties); Sugar Lady,  Babcock, Silver Logan (all white freestone varieties)
  • Plums--Kelsey, Black Amber, Friar, Satsuma,  Eldorado, Laroda, Santa Rosa
  • Pluots--Dapple Dandy
  • Blackberrries
  • Vegetables--Cucumber (Japanese, lemon, Armenian)Eggplant (Ichiban, Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca), tomatoes, green beans (Kentucky Wonder),  long beans,  hot peppers, zucchini, summer squash, trombetta squash,  Swiss chard, basil, oregano, mint
  • Eggs--from chickens at our orchard
  • Honey--from bees at our orchard

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