Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall Fruits and Vegetables

We now have more fuyu persimmons at the fruit stand.  Fuyu are the type of persimmon that are edible and sweet when they're firm.  We also have more of the maru and nagamaru (or chocolate) varieties of persimmons.  A limited amount of soft and ripe hachiya persimmons is available. Other fruit for sale includes  Asian pear, comice pear, pomegranates, apples (Fuji and Reinette Simerenko) and jujube.

New vegetables at the fruit stand are fresh and tender bok choy, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, scallions and cilantro from Barley Oats Farms.  Barley Oats has started using a space at our orchard to grow fall and winter vegetables with organic practices. You can also order vegetables from Barley Oats Farms online and arrange to pick up at the fruit stand. Other available vegetables grown at our orchard gardens are sweet peppers (feher ozon, sweet chocolate, crest, banana, shishito), chile peppers (jalapenos, aji limon, cayenne, fish), cucumbers, tomatillos, okra and winter squash (kabocha, butternut and delicata).   

Just outside the fruit stand you can see the hoshigaki (Japanese hand-dried persimmon) drying process.  We've been busy peeling new persimmons, stringing them together and hanging them on outside racks to dry. In the photo Chris is peeling persimmons and her mother, Helen, is in the background stringing them.  Visitors are welcome to stop by and see the process, although hoshigaki is not yet for sale at the fruit stand. We just started peeling persimmons for hoshigaki a few weeks ago and the process takes at least 4 weeks.  If you'd like to order hoshigaki we always recommend that people make orders as early as possible.  This is because each season's supply is limited to what we can produce while the weather works in our favor.

To order hoshigaki for pick up at the fruit stand, please stop by or call us.  To order hoshigaki through mail order, please fill out our mail order form and send it in with a check.  We don't take credit cards for mail orders or at the fruit stand.     

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Hoshigaki Mail Orders

This season's hoshigaki mail order form is now up on our website.  You can find the link to it here or look for it under the website's hoshigaki/persimmon tab.  To order hoshigaki (Japanese massaged hand-dried persimmons) by mail order, please print out the form, fill it out and then mail it to us with a check for payment.  We are unable to take credit cards.

We started peeling persimmons this week to begin the hoshigaki drying process.  The drying process takes an average time of six weeks. Each persimmon fruit is hand-peeled, then strung together in a pair on a stick.  The sticks of strung persimmons are first placed on a rack in the sun to dry.  After the persimmons dry for a week or so, the sticks are moved inside to a more protected area.  Regular massaging happens throughout the weeks to help the hoshigaki dry evenly and remain a soft texture.  Towards the end of the drying process the hoshigaki naturally develop a light dusting of powdery sugar on their surface.

If you'd like to order hoshigaki by mail, we recommend that you send in your order as soon as possible.  Earliest orders ship out first and the drying season is weather-dependent.  Each season's supply is limited to what we can produce while persimmons are hard enough to peel and the weather is conducive to drying.  If you live close enough to pick up hoshigaki at our fruit stand, you can stop by or call us to place an order. 

Visitors to the fruit stand are welcome to look around and see the drying process.  Visitors are also welcome to walk out in the orchard and take a self-guided tour, but we're not a pick-your-own operation.  The fruit stand is open from 10-6 Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 10-5 Sundays.  Mondays we are closed. 

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