Tuesday, October 3, 2023


    The weather has cooled down. We're feeling highs in the 80's and lows in the 50's.  Such a comfortable time of year. The display tables are full of a large variety of produce.

     The Jujube harvest is ramping up. First there was a handful. Now a box every other day.  Soon we hope for a couple boxes a day.  Jujube are often called Chinese dates, ber, or  when dried  they are called red dates. They are sweet like an apple but not as juicy.  An easy snack but watch out for the seed.  This little round fruit has long been recognized by Chinese medicine as having many health benefits. It contains minerals and antioxidants.  


    Persimmons are on the horizon.  The first to be harvested are the brown fleshed varieties.  We now have a few Coffee Cake and Nagamaru persimmons.  These brown fleshed persimmons are sweet if pollinated. Some may be partially sweet. Cut the fruit first or eat carefully.  The brown flesh will be sweet and the yellow flesh will be astringent.  We are also getting a few hard Hachiya.  These persimmons are astringent until very soft.  Leave them on the counter till ripe or put them in and then out of the refrigerator.  It may take 1 to 3 weeks to ripen.  

     We are also waiting for the Hachiya persimmons to get full color so we can begin peeling them as the first step to making  hoshigaki.   It is still too early to start if we want to make good hoshigaki.  The crop looks decent but Tosh warns me that we may still need to source hachiya from other farms.

    It's fall and that means pears and apples.  We are currently selling Bartlett and D'anjou European pears.  Soft, sweet, and juicy with yellow skin.  We also have several Asian pear types:  Shinko, 20th Century, New Century, and Yoi.  These are firm and crisp, juicy and sweet. In the apple department we have crisp and sweet Red Delicious. We have also started harvesting Reinette Simerenko apples.  These are crisp, sweet-tart, green apples with stand out flavor. Soon we will have Fuji apples, and Granny Smith.

    Our vegetable garden is still producing.  We are getting tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, chili peppers, sweet peppers, beans, eggplants, tomatillos, and very few squash.  Winter squash season has started. We have Delicata, Red Kuri, Kabocha,Black Futsu, and Butternut.

    We are getting help in the vegetable department from WoodRose Country Garden.  Lani brings us tomatoes, beans, peppers, eggplants, garlic, potatoes, arugula, basil, and Pink Banana Squash.  Kijani farm brings us Kabocha, butternut squash, and cherry tomatoes.



Tues through Sat  10:00 am to 6 pm 

Sunday  11:00 am to 5:00 pm


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

Hoshigaki:  Currently sold out. These are whole dried persimmons.  They were hand massaged while they dried over a period of four to eight weeks.  Some are firm, others are soft and moist.  All are coated with naturally formed white persimmon sugar.  No sugar added and no preservatives used.  Hoshigaki processed in 2022 have sold out.  We normally begin peeling persimmons in October.  The early hoshigaki may be available in November. You may contact us for on-farm pick-up orders.  Look for the mail order form online in October. Mail order shipments do not usually begin until December.


        Red Delicious:  mild sweet, firm-crisp with a pleasant flavor and texture.

        Reinete Simerenko:  a green sweet-tart apple with great flavor. I call it a cider apple.

European Pears:

    Bartlett:  Classic pear flavor and juicy.  Ready to eat when yellow and is eaten fresh or used in cooking or preserving.

    D'anjou:  Mature when light green to light yellow.  Smooth sweet-tart pear used for fresh eating, salads, baking, poaching, and grilling. 


     Red Purlett : A crisp, seedless, sweet, red grapes. 

    Thompson Seedless:  yellow green grapes that are tart or intensely sweet.


Asian Pears:  

    20th Century:  Yellow, round pear known for being sweet, tender, crisp, and juicy. Great for snacking or adding to salads.

    New Century:  Large, round, sweet pear with sturdy texture. Great for snacking or adding to salads.  It has yellow skin and white flesh.

    Yoi:   This is a brown-skinned, fine-textured, crisp, sweet and juicy pear. The flavor has a hint of butterscotch.

    Shinko:  Large round pear with brown thicker skin.  Very sweet and juicy, a good keeper.


    Hachiya:  Tall acorn-shaped persimmon.  It is astringent until soft and jelly-like. It becomes very sweet soft and delicate. Fresh eating right out of its skin or often used for baking cookies and pudding.

    Coffeecake:  It looks like a Fuyu with its flat round shape but the flesh is brown.  It is recommended that you cut the fruit so you can eat the sweet brown parts.
Enlarge the photo to see the fruit.

    Jujube:    Jujube are often called Chinese dates, ber, or  when dried  they are called red dates. We harvest when they are yellow and brown.  Gradually they become all brown and eventually shriveled.  They are enjoyed at all these stages. They are sweet and crisp like an apple but not as juicy.  An easy snack but watch out for the seed.  This little round fruit has long been recognized by Chinese medicine as having many health benefits. It contains minerals and antioxidants.  Avoid if on anti-seizure or anti-depressant medications.


    Black Misson:  Very popular variety with mild sweetness. When ripe it is moist yet chewy with rich flavor.

    Panache:  Green striped fig often referred to as Tiger Stripe.  Sweet, fragrant fig with a hint of raspberry.

    Brown Turkey:  Brown fig with shades of green and yellow.  When ripe, this fig is soft, sweet and jammy.

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

⚘ Calendula  Salve and Lip Balm:  Wonderfully thick salve for healing dry skin, bug bites and scrapes.

Tomatoes:   Slicing, salad and colorful tomatoes.  All vine ripened and full of flavor.  This late in the season, sizes and quality are declining but the flavor is still there.

Cherry Tomatoes:

    Sungold, Sweet 100,  Black Cherry, and Yellow Pear.  Limited supply.

Chili Peppers:   Aji Amareto, Buena Mulata, Fish, Jalapenos, and Shishito---All limited supply.

Tomatillos:   These look like small green tomatoes in a paper shell.  They can be cooked or eaten raw. You can add them to salads or make them into green salsa.


    Japanese cucumbers are thin skinned, crisp, seedless and sweet.

    Armenian cucumbers are firm, and crisp.

Japanese Eggplant:  These have a long shape with thin skin.  It has tender flesh with delicate flavor and few seeds.

Sweet Peppers: Green, yellow and purple varieties.

Okra: When we pay attention, we harvest tender pods.

Long Beans:  Similar in taste to green beans.   Texture is more tender.

Winter Squash:   Delicata:  This is a cylindrical green or orange striped squash.  It  has sweet, creamy flesh and edible skin.  It can be roasted, steamed, baked, microwaved, sauteed or stuffed.  The seeds are edible when toasted.

    Kabocha, Red Kuri, Black Futsu:  Known as a Japanese pumpkins.  These varieties have sweet, thick dry flesh. They can be steamed, baked, roasted, sauted or added to soups and stews.

    Butternut Squash:    One of the most popular winter squashes because of its generous flesh.  The seeds are contained in the bulbous end and the neck is all flesh.   It has a sweet nutty flavor.  Is can be roasted, steamed, baked  and chopped into soups, stews, casseroles and curries.  Flavor a can be savory or sweetened with syrup and butter.  

Quince:  This fruit is firm and seldom eaten raw.  It has a pleasing fragrance which can be preserved by making sauce, jams, jelly, adding it to  apple dishes, and pairing it with pork.  It is a great source for pectin.  Quince must be peeled, cored and cooked to make it softer.  It is famously used to make Quince sauce or Doulce de Membrillo, Quince candy.

Here is what we have from other producers:

WoodRose Country Garden  in Granite Bay, organic practices:

    Eggplant, okra, beans, colorful bell peppers, potatoes, garlic and arugula.

    Seasoning:  basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, fresh garlic

    Tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Sun-dried San Marzano tomatoes.

    Winter squash:  Butternut, Pink Banana Squash, Spaghetti, and Shark Fin Squash.

    Grapes:  Red Flame grapes are a crisp, grape with skin color from deep red to dark purple.  It is sweet and seedless.

Top O' the Hill Apiary in Granite Bay:   Bees wax 🐝.

La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis is bringing us fresh🥚 eggs from pastured 🐔🐔chickens. Production is low.  As days get shorter the chickens go through molting. This is the process of loosing old feathers and regrowing new feathers.  During this period, egg laying decreases and chickens concentrate on storing nutrients for the next season.

Kijani Farm in Granite Bay, organic practices:

    Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes

     Kabocha, Japanese winter squash (pumpkin).  Butternut winter squash

Mihara Farm  conventional farming in Newcastle, CA:  Kiwi from Mihara Farm.

Placer County Master Gardeners:   2024 Gardening Guide and Calendar.  Provides helpful hints throughout your gardening year.

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