Friday, July 28, 2017


Every summer about this time of the year, my mother would surprise us with a big bowl of her fresh and fragrant gazpacho soup. At the farm we always had a supply of tomato seconds to use in some creative way.  My mother would cut out the bad parts and stew the tomatoes till they were soft and the juice came out.  Then she cooled and strained them and collected the juice.  She used this thin flavorful juice as a base for gazpacho.  At the orchard we now have a good supply of tomatoes, tomato seconds, tender crisp cucumbers, sweet peppers, fresh basil, oregano and heads of garlic.  For my batch of gazpacho I was lucky enough to still have a sweet red onion from Lisa Pilz at Hillcrest Orchard farmer's market stand. I sliced the onion and soaked it in cold water for five minutes to remove the heat.  It added a nice flavor to the mix.  I know there are many recipes for gazpacho but here is ours.

5  med.  tomatoes, peeled,seeded and chopped
3  med. cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
           (our Asian cucumbers are seedless)
2  sweet peppers seeded and chopped
1/2  cup sliced sweet red onions
1/8   cup minced parsley, or oregano
1/4   cup minced fresh basil
3    cups tomato juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3  Tblsp. red wine vinegar
2   cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1/2  tsp hot pepper sauce if desired

Prepare tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions as directed.  Mash the garlic with salt then stir into vegetables. Add remainder of the ingredients and mix together.  Refrigerate covered at least 2 hours or overnight.

Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve cold.

What is available in the farm stand:
Tomatoes:  Slicing, Heirloom, salad, Roma, cherry tomatoes and tomato seconds
Cucumbers:  Asian, lemon, Armenian
Other Veggies:  Okra, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, shallots, garlic, basil. and Rosemary
Peaches:  Yellow, white, and cling
Plums:  Laroda, Eldorado
Pluots:  Dapple Dandy, Flavorking
Apples:  Gala
Honey, Jams and salve
Sunnyslope Farm is bringing us yellow peaches:  Elegant Lady, Suncrest,  and pluots: Candy Stripe

Monday, July 17, 2017


         It is the middle of summer.  It has been very hot and some of our produce are getting too much sun.  Many varieties of white and yellow freestone peaches and yellow and red fleshed plums are showing up at the farm stand along with cucumbers and tomatoes.
        The shell of our walk in refrigerator is up and we are using the cool room.  Through all this heat, Tosh continues to make progress on the remodel.  Yeah!  Much to the relief of our produce.

       Here is what is available at the farm stand.
Yellow Peaches:  Suncrest, Gene Elberta, Delight, Frost, and Loring
White Peaches:  Sugar Lady, Babcock, Nectar, and Silver Logan
Plums:   Frontier, Burgundy, Duarte, Laroda, Kelsey, Satsuma, Black Amber,
                and Tulare Prune
Pluots:  Dapple Dandy
Wild Blackberries
Vegetables:  Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, Asian Cucumbers,
               Lemon cucumbers, Armenian cucumbers, Sweet peppers, Shishito
               peppers, Japanese eggplant, okra, long beans, green beans, basil,
               garlic, and shallots 
Also available:  Local honey, jam, salve, and firewood.
From Sunnyslope Farm:  Gene Elberta peaches, and Suncrest peaches

Monday, July 3, 2017

Farm Stand in July 2017

      July at Otow Orchard means peaches, plums,and wild blackberries.  Soon to arrive will be pluots, white peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, and eggplant.
      Due to all the rain this spring during blossom season, the stone fruit crop will be light.  Don't miss out.
       Wild blackberries are already coming into the fruit stand.  They may be seedy but they are full of flavor and juice.  They are usually available only in the month of July.
       Many customers are asking about tomatoes. There are many green tomatoes hanging on the vines.  They are slowly starting to ripen.  I am hoping to have a good supply by mid July.

Thank you for putting up with all the dust, noise and mess during our cool room remodel project.  Thank you for all the encouraging words.  We are not finished but were able to turn on the unit on Sunday.  It was a welcome change in temperature for the harvested fruit.

Currently available in the farm stand:
Peaches: yellow freestone Red Haven, Flavorcrest, Regina
Plums:  Santa Rosa, Satsuma, Frontier, Burgandy
Vegetables:  Summer squash, Asian cucumbers, long beans, peppers
                     Lovejoy Farm: onions, garlic
Sunnyslope Farm :  yellow freestone peaches
Otow Orchard honey
Good Stuff Jams
Eggs from pastured chickens
Calendula salve and lip balm

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