Wednesday, May 11, 2022

UME SEASON

         Mid April freeze defined the outcome for many crops this year.  We see damage in some of the apples, grapes, plums and  persimmons.  There are no mulberries and no early apricots. With cool early morning temperatures we are just now getting our summer vegetable crops in the ground.  It's a slow start but maybe the production will last longer  into the fall.

         However little, recent rains 🌧 have been welcome.  The moisture has allowed us to reduce hours of irrigation and the cooler  temperature has reduced moisture loss due to evaporation.   Some areas received hail damage.  We managed to dodge a severe hail storm so far.

        The workers are now thinning Asian pears.  They are also busy weed eating around the base of trees.  Weeds are happy with the rain we have been getting.  We would like to get out and mow the row middles but that will have to wait till the tractor gets repaired. If you come for a walk in the orchard you will notice that we  have a healthy crop of weeds. πŸ™

        We are now watching the loquat slowly coloring.  They are a pale yellow, not quite ready for harvest.

         Ume (sour Japanese plum) is getting some size and a little less green.  The crop is lighter than last year.  Ume is used in Asian cultures to make pickles, jam, or flavorings for drinks. If you want ume, please let us know very soon so we can add you to our list.  Call us at (916) 300 0720 or send us an email at otoworchard@yahoo.com.  We may possibly get some ume from other producers.

        Vegetables have started to come in from WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay.  This is a neighborhood farm that uses organic practices.   She is bringing us fresh potatoes, spinach, beans, peas, lettuce, arugula, and herbs.  Come check it out.

        Not too cold, not too hot, and just the right amount of sunlight.  This makes for happy hens that are glad to produce eggs.  If eggs have a season, it is now.  La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis has beautiful fresh brown eggs to show off.  Hope you will try a dozen.

        We are still looking for a part time worker.  If you know of a student, retired person, or someone who needs a little spending money we would love to interview him or her.  The job description is listed in the previous blog entry below. April 25. 2022.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


  Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard

Valencia oranges (limited supply)

Yellow grapefruit

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Ume (pre orders only)        

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis (organic certified): Pink grapefruit.

WoodRose Country Gardens in Granite Bay: (organic practices) Potatoes, beans, snow peas, πŸ₯¬lettuce, arugula, spinach, white bulb onions πŸ§…, green onions, cilantro, Greek oregano, rosemary, thyme.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

Monday, April 25, 2022

HELP WANTED

 

HELP WANTED

Job Posting: Temporary position, June to September 2022

Otow Orchard, 6232 Eureka Rd. Granite Bay

10 to 20 hrs. per week (hours vary by the season) $14 to $15 per hr.

Otow Orchard is a direct-to-consumer farm market. Personal contact with and respect for customers is important to building our business and our community. Produce is grown without sprays or chemical fertilizers. Harvest occurs when produce is mature and at its peak. We support local feeding programs and area farms.

We are looking for an honest, reliable, hardworking, self-directed individual who has an interest in growing good food. This is an opportunity to work day to day on a farm and learn about our crops and methods.

Job Title: Farm stand and produce associate

Job description:

Assist in farm stand marketing and sales.

Cleaning, inspecting, and restocking the display.

Maintain and clean the fruit stand area and farm yard.

Sorting produce for quality and distribution.

Harvest, irrigate and help maintain vegetable garden.

Build positive relationships with customers and coworkers.

Assignments may require use of hand tools and power tools.

Seasonally and with experience, the job description will change as needed.


Responsibilities:

Work safely and ask for help when needed.

Follow heat stress and food safety guidelines.

Be observant and report or take care of things that are out of line.

Clean up and put away tools and equipment.

Make good use of time.


Requirements:

Reliable transportation.

Commute less than 10 miles.

Be able to safely lift 40 pounds.

Work during extremes of weather: hot, cold, wet, dry.

Dependable attendance.

COVID vaccinated and boosted.

Good math basics.

Good communication skills (listening and speaking).


Please submit resume and inquiries in person or through email: otoworchard@yahoo.com

before May 24, 2022.






 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

LITTLE GREEN FRUITLETS

      Many little green fruitlets are now visible in the orchard. I have seen  plum, plout, peach, fig, apple and Asian pears.  We are starting to thin peaches, plums and pluots to get better size and quality.  It is a tedious and important task.  I like to stand on a ladder and listen to the "plink plink" sound the fruitlets make as they bounce off the aluminum ladder.

 

     We were tempted but glad we didn't.  The weather has been warming up so we thought about planting vegetables.  With the few cold mornimg we have been having, it would have been a sad start for them.  Hopefully we soon will be getting tomatoes, eggplants and  peppers  in the ground.  Also we will be seeding squash, cucumbers, beans, and okra.

 

      We are watching the ume, " Japanese pickling plum" slowly grow. If we can dodge hail and freezing weather for the next month, we will have a medium size crop.   If you want to reserve ume, please call us at (916) 791-1656 or email us at otoworchard@yahoo.com

GREEN UME
Sadly, this 100 year old tree will not produce ume again.

 

 


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                           11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


  Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Cilantro         

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

WoodRose Country Gardens  in Granite Bay:  πŸ₯• Organic carrots.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝.

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Quince Marmalade. 

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.

 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

PREPARING FOR SUMMER

       This time of year we get a little rest.  We are at the orchard every day but the hours are shorter.  Time is spent preparing the orchard and gardens for the pending crop, repairing, cleaning, and upgrading.   I am trying to insulate the ceiling in our cool room. A very frustrating task since I am not very tall and the room refuses to be square and plum. After hours of You Tube viewing, Tosh is converting fluorescent lights to LED lights.

       Summer fruit trees have bloomed.  We see little fruitlets  growing in the shelter of a dried blossom.  They grow quickly and we will soon be busy thinning down the crop so the remaining fruit are larger. Also we can remove the odd shaped  and smaller fruit.  We hope we can visit each tree  one time but if there is hail or a freeze we should return to remove damaged fruit.  

        Since the trees have woken up, we have started to irrigate.  We are thankful for the few rain storms we got in March.  A very welcome feeling.  Unfortunately not enough.  The trees need the water to survive and produce fruit.

       The hot house is nurturing vegetable plant starts.  We have started tomatoes, peppers and eggplants for our summer gardens. Many of the tomatoes have been transplanted from little seedling trays to 4 inch pots.  With the mild nights these plants spend day and night outside and are getting used to the outdoor elements.  As the days warm up we will begin direct seeding squash, beans, cucumbers and okra.

        Spring vegetables may start arriving in a couple weeks.  We look forward to carrots, peas, and potatoes from RoseWood Country Garden in Granite Bay. 

 

SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

 Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp 

Cilantro         

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

106

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Quince Marmalade. 

La Bella Vito Farm is bringing us freshπŸ₯š eggs from pastured πŸ”πŸ”chickens.





 

Monday, February 21, 2022

BLOSSOMS ANNOUNCE THE START OF A NEW SEASON

    Where is the rain, you know,  the wet stuff?  The coming season of produce really needs rain.  Not just rain but a snow pack up in the mountains would be a nice way to start the irrigation season.  We would like to wait another month before starting to irrigate but mother nature has to helps us out.  


     The Orchard is just starting to come alive.  Plum trees are in full bloom. Their branches are full of snow white blossoms.  Soon they will be followed by the pink blossoms of peach apricot and nectarine.  It is a nice time of year to view the blossoms if you want to go for a walk in the orchard.


     Out in the orchard  the stone fruit and pome fruit trees have been pruned and much of the prunings have been chopped up to return to the soil.  The persimmon pruning is still in the process. With the warm weather the orchard floor is greening up.  It looks beautiful but we know there are many competitive weeds in the mix.  Vetch is a mixed blessing.  While it is often recommended to fix nitrogen in the soil, it loves to grow  up the trunk and into the branches. We have to watch it carefully so we can get just the right benefit before it chokes the tree.  It is the time of year to think about grafting and planting new trees.  No new trees are going in this year.  We are looking at old trees and trees with suckers and trees that are not producing.  Some of these will be prepared for grafting. Usually we graft varieties that can no longer be found in the nursery. By grafting these varieties can be preserved.

 

      We are cleaning up our vegetable gardens and starting to add mulch. The first tray of tomato seeds is starting to germinate in the hot house.   I see 43 tiny tomato plants pushing their way out of the soil and spreading their leaves. We will keep planting more seeds for the next couple weeks.  As the weather warms we will start eggplant and pepper plants.


SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

 Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers.

Blood Oranges:  limited supply

Kiwi

Yellow grapefruit 

Eureka lemons πŸ‹

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          
 

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. (limited supply)

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis is an organic certified orchard.  They are bringing us Pink grapefruit and Limequats.

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, and Quince Marmalade.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

SLOW SEASON HOURS

 The orchard is sleeping, it is preparing for the 2022 season. What it will produce depends on how much sleep it gets in the winter months.  We are reducing our farm stand hours till around mid May. That is when the early peaches, and loquat start to color.

 

SLOW SEASON HOURS:

TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY  11:30 TO 1:30

FRIDAY, SATURDAY                              10:00 TO 6:00

SUNDAY                                                 11:00 TO 5:00

CLOSED ON MONDAYS


Since we are often at the farm anyway, you may call us to arrange for other times. 

Farm Stand:      (916) 791-1656

Mobile phone:   (916) 300-0720


 

 Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Navel Oranges: limited supply

Blood Oranges:  limited supply

Clementine Mandarins:  limited supply

Apples:  🍎 Fuji  (limited supply)

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          


Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. (limited supply)

Winter squash:  Black Futsu and Kabocha. (Limited supply.)

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Mihara Farm in Newcastle:  Kiwi

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Orange Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

COOLER WEATHER

           We are transitioning into the needs of another year:  pruning, cleaning up the orchard, cleaning up the hoshigaki rooms, ordering seeds, sorting old boxes, cleaning buckets, repairing equipment, etc.  Most of the orchard is dormant.  Leaves have fallen, branches are bare. Garden debris is waiting to be removed or has been incorporated.  Yet, here and there in the orchard we see a citrus tree preparing for harvest or a Japanese apricot tree pushing pink or white blossoms.  So the cycle continues.

       In the citrus department we have a few Satsuma and Clementine Mandarins, and some Navel and Blood Oranges.  We are waiting for Eureka lemons and yellow grapefruit.  Lupi farm in Granite Bay is bringing us bright yellow Meyer Lemons.

HOURS:

 Tues. through Sat. 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

 Sunday 11 am to 5 pm 

 Closed on Mondays

 

 

 Here is what we have at the Farm Stand from Otow Orchard:

Brown Asian Pears: Okusankichi. These pears are mildly sweet, juicy, and crisp. They are good keepers. 

Apples:  🍎 Fuji  (limited supply)

Quince: Yellow fruit in the pear/apple family. Seldom eaten raw. It can be baked like apples or sauced like apples. High in pectin, they are often used for jelly and Dulce de Membrillo (Quince candy). Naturally sour but full of aroma and flavor, can be added to stews.

Red Pomegranates: These pomegranates have dark red arils that are sweet and tangy. A brilliant taste. (limited supply)

Persimmons:

Hachiya:  frozen pulp          

 

Hoshigaki: Tender and moist dried persimmons with naturally formed dusting of fruit sugars on the surface. These were hand massaged and dried slowly for 4 to 8 weeks. 

Winter squash:  Black Futsu and Kabocha. (Limited supply.)

Pecans

Honey 🍯 from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees 🐝 at Otow Orchard

⚘ Calendula Salve and Lip Balm 

 

Here is what we have from other producers:

Lupi Farm in Granite Bay: No spray Meyer Lemons, πŸ‹ known for flavor and fragrance. These lemons are less tart than regular lemons, with floral fragrance and bright taste.   Great for adding to your water or tea. Can also be used in salad dressings and sauces.

Mihara Farm in Newcastle:  Kiwi

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay: Honey🍯. Top of the Hill Apiary also has bees wax 🐝. 

Two Feather Farm: πŸ”πŸ₯š Eggs. (Extremely limited supply. As the days lengthen, we will begin to see egg production go up. The height of production is usually March, April and May.)

Jams πŸ‘ from the Good Stuff. We currently have Plum, Peach Cardamon, Chili Apricot, Fig Brandy, Pepper Pomegranate, Chili Blackberry and Quince Marmalade.

Monday, January 17, 2022

JANUARY 17, 2022 HOSHIGAKI UPDATE

 

      The drying of hoshigaki for the 2021 season has finished.  We are still processing a few late season hoshigaki.  At this time we are no longer accepting new mail orders since the quantity and quality is in limbo.  We predict that we will begin the process again in October 2022 and will start accepting orders at that time.  The persimmon trees are dormant at this time and it is hard to predict the condition of the next harvest before there are even blossoms on the trees.

      Thank you for your  support and interest in hoshigaki.  We plan to downsize if we don't come up with additional help during November.

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