Friday, January 4, 2013

Hoshigaki & Fruit Stand Update

Sunset at the orchard
Hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) is still available for sale at the fruit stand and through mail order.  At the fruit stand we have various grades of hoshigaki for sale, and also hoshigaki from another producer, Pleasant Hill Orchard.  Pleasant Hill Orchard is a small orchard in Newcastle, CA owned by the Nodahara family.  Thier hoshigaki is very soft and flavorful this year with nice fluffy sugar on the outside. We now also have Pleasant Hill's Hoshigaki for sale through mail order at a little less per pound than ours.  Mandarins are also for sale through mail order.

The fruit stand is full of mandarins and soft persimmons.  Soft hachiya are for sale, individually and in trays.  We still have maru (chocolate) persimmons, vodka-treated hyakume, and fuyu persimmons although they're not as firm as earlier in the season. Other items in the fruit stand are large okusankichi Asian pears, white pomegranate, butternut and Black Futsu winter squash, pie pumpkins and raw honey from bees at our orchard.

It's been cold in the past few weeks with some nights of freezing temperatures and many days of rain.  We have been busy catching up with all of the various tasks involved in drying hoshigaki, such as massaging drying persimmons, taking down dry hoshigaki, trimming the tops and sorting them into grades according to softness. Only about one rack of sticks of hoshigaki remains drying in the last drying room. Out in the orchard we have been pruning trees and dropping compost between the rows to help fertilize the soil. 

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