Monday, February 19, 2024

TIME FOR CITRUS


         Sweet tang.  Some of us crave it along with the intense flavors offered by the many varieties of citrus.  Citrus fruit are not just for fresh eating.  They are so important in flavoring our meals, and for making juices.  Let's not forget that citrus fruit can supply much needed Vitamin C for our wintertime health.  We will continue to have a variety of citrus fruit available for a couple of weeks.  When the oranges and mandarins are gone we should still have grapefruit and lemons.

         In addition to citrus fruit we are also harvesting Kiwi fruit.  There is also a good supply of hoshigaki.

        We have a supply of bare root fruit trees to put in the ground.  We will be planting plums, pluots, cherries, Asian pears and both yellow and white peaches.  These trees are available for some back yards.

        This is the quiet time of year for the orchard.  Only the citrus trees have fruit and leaves. The other trees are resting.  Soon the plums and pluots will start to bloom.  There will be patches of white blossoms in the orchard to mark their spots.  By mid March we should see the pink blossoms of peaches and nectarines.  If you plan to walk the orchard during bloom time, it is best to call first to find out what is blooming. This year seems different than previous years.

 

        On March 5th we will be starting our modified hours.  It will be our regular hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Our Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday hours will change to just 11:30 to 1:30.  And of course, Closed on Mondays as usual. We anticipate these hours for March, April and May.  If you need other times to visit, we will try to accommodate you.  We are often at the farm somewhere but not necessarily in the farm stand. You may call ahead at  (916) 300-0720. You will have to leave a message or text.


HOURS:

Tues through Sat  10:00 am to 6 pm 

Sunday  11:00 am to 5:00 pm

CLOSED ON MONDAYS 





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


Hoshigaki:  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. We began peeling persimmons in October.  We peeled the last persimmons at the beginning of December. The hoshigaki is available in the farm stand. You may drop in for on farm pick up.  Contact us for large on-farm pick-up orders. (916) 791-1656 or email at otowochard@yahoo.com. 
For mail orders please use our mail order form  for the 2023 season.

Yellow Grapefruit:  Sweet tart and a bit bitter. Very tasty.

Navel Oranges:  Sweet and Juicy.

Blood Oranges:  Sweet and juicy with dramatic red flesh. Good for fresh eating, juice, marmalade, or adding to salads or drinks.




Satsuma Mandarins:  Sweet, juicy, and easy to peel.  Very popular this time of year. Great flavor and an easy healthy snack. Can be added to desserts, salads, and drinks. Zest can be used to flavor sauces and marinades.

Clementine Mandarins:  Sweet and juicy. Easy to peel with delicate membrane.  They are more mild than oranges and make an easy healthy snack.  Can be added to salads and desserts.

Persimmons:

    Hachya : Frozen persimmon pulp.

Kiwi:  Fuzzy brown skin over  green flesh speckled with black seeds.

Honey ๐Ÿฏ from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard.

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

English Walnuts:  Shelled for you.


Here is what we have from other producers:

Kijani Farm
in Granite Bay, organic practices:

     Kabocha, Japanese winter squash (pumpkin).


Lupi Farm  in Granite Bay, no spray:  Meyer Lemons:  Tasty and flavorful lemons, low in acid.


Pleasant Hill Farm in Newcastle, no spray:

Navel oranges:  Sweet and juicy with great flavor. 

Cara Cara oranges:  These pink fleshed oranges are sweet and juicy with great flavor.

La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis is bringing us fresh๐Ÿฅš eggs from pastured ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”chickens.  Limited supply.

Preparing vegetable garden.

   

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

CITRUS SEASON AND HOSHIGAKI SPECIAL

         On our farm it is a time of renewal. Most trees are bare so we can see an unobstructed view of the orchard.  This view will change as the trees put on leaves.  But for now we see the rolling hills of our foothill orchard and the bare branch structures of our trees.  They are waiting for life to return to their limbs. A few trees have started to bloom. I wonder if we got enough chill hours (Temperatures below 45 degrees F.) this winter to push a robust growth.  A delayed and erratic bloom season is one of the responses to the warmer climate we are experiencing. We like it, but it is confusing to the trees which then can't react in their normal ways.

          We are having a Hoshigaki Valentine Special. For customers coming to the farm, we are offering discounts ranging from $1 to $6 per pound.  The greatest savings are for those who purchase 5 pounds or more.  Special sale will end February 15, 2024.

(I know it will be confusing.  The above offer is for hoshigaki picked up at the farm.  The offer described below is for orders sent in the mail.)

        We are offering a VALENTINE SPECIAL  at this time, good for hoshigaki mail orders received between Jan. 22 to Feb. 15, 2024.  

              Buy 3 pounds at $60 per pound and receive one pound free.

  Total order must be sent to a single address.  

Use the second page of the order form with the description "Valentine Special 2024"   $180. 

Each "VALENTINE SPECIAL"  must be sent to only one address.  Please call or email  if you need clarification. otoworchard@yahoo.com  or  (916) 791-1656.

We are now moving onto citrus season. With the cold weather citrus fruits can add to your intake of vitamin C.   We have mandarins, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and yuzu.

 


HOURS:

Tues through Sat  10:00 am to 6 pm 

Sunday  11:00 am to 5:00 pm

CLOSED ON MONDAYS 


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


Hoshigaki:  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. We began peeling persimmons in October.  We peeled the last persimmons at the beginning of December. The hoshigaki is available in the farm stand. You may drop in for on farm pick up.  Contact us for large on-farm pick-up orders. (916) 791-1656 or email at otowochard@yahoo.com. 
For mail orders please use our mail order form  for the 2023 season.  See Valentine Specials described above.

Apples

        Fuji: Known for being sweet juicy and always crisp.

Yellow Grapefruit:  Sweet tart and a bit bitter. Very tasty.

Navel Oranges:  Sweet and Juicy.

Blood Oranges:  Sweet and juicy with dramatic red flesh. Good for fresh eating, juice, marmalade, or adding to salads or drinks.




Satsuma Mandarins:  Sweet, juicy, and easy to peel.  Very popular this time of year. Great flavor and an easy healthy snack. Can be added to desserts, salads, and drinks. Zest can be used to flavor sauces and marinades.

Clementine Mandarins:  Sweet and juicy. Easy to peel with delicte membrane.  They are more mild than oranges and make an easy healthy snack.  Can be added to salads and desserts.

Asian Pears: 

    Okusankichi:  Large winter Asian pear.  It is a good keeper.  It is sweet with a hint of tartness.  Juicy and crisp.  Limited supply.

Persimmons:

    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. Used for making hoshigaki.

Honey ๐Ÿฏ from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard.

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

English Walnuts:  In the shell.  You have to crack them.


Here is what we have from other producers:

Mihara Farm in Newcastle, CA, Conventional practices.  Satsuma mandarins. Sweet, juicy.

Kijani Farm
in Granite Bay, organic practices:

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

Stoney Point Farm, Organic certified, Loomis, CA: 

Oro Blanco Grapefruit:   Easy to peel white grapefruit. White flesh that is sweet or sweet-tart. Skin is greenish to yellow.

Yuzu:  Aromatic citrus fruit like a mandarin or lemon with uneven skin.  Valued for its fragrant zest (skin) and tart juice.  Much like lemon, yuzu is used to flavor sauces, dishes, teas and drinks.  Supply is limited.

Lupi Farm  in Granite Bay, no spray:  Meyer Lemons:  Tasty and flavorful lemons, low in acid.


  




Saturday, January 20, 2024

HOSHIGAKI FOR YOUR VALENTINE

2023 WAS A GOOD YEAR TO MAKE HOSHIGAKI. We are still processing them and our storage space is dwindling.  We are offering a VALENTINE SPECIAL  at this time, good for hoshigaki orders received between Jan. 22 to Feb. 15, 2024.  

              Buy 3 pounds at $60 per pound and receive one pound free.

  Total order must be sent to a single address.  

Use the second page of the order form with the description "Valentine Special 2024"   $180. 

Each "VALENTINE SPECIAL"  must be sent to only one address.  Please call or email  if you need clarification. otoworchard@yahoo.com  or  (916) 791-1656.




Sunday, January 7, 2024

A LITTLE MORE FUYU

Surprisingly we still have Fuyu persimmons to sell. We may get to the second week of January.  After that I expect the Fuyu to be mostly soft.  Soft Fuyu are sweeter and juicier than the standard ones, and peach-like in texture. Other persimmons we are likely to have for a while are Vodka, Hachiya and Gyombo.  Most of the persimmon trees are bare except for the chocolate varieties.  The fruit left on them are mostly astringent so we do not harvest them.  Eventually the birds come to clean up the fruit.  It's a tradition.

The Hoshigaki (Japanese hand dried persimmon) process is coming to a close.  There is still a half room full of them hanging and turning white.  Those that don't sell now will be sorted and placed in the freezer. We will be able to sell these through the spring and summer months.  Occasionally we will still have them in October when the cycle begins again. You can now come by to pick up hoshigaki at the farm stand.  If you are interested in more than three pounds it is advised that you give us a call first.  (916) 791-1656.  We are continuing to take new mail orders for hoshigaki.  Click here for mail order form. Please use the 2023 form since the persimmons were grown in the 2023 season on the farm.


This year, mandarins have an uncertain season.  Now you see them now you don't.  The first batch has sold out.  We are now getting mandarins from Mihara Farm in Newcastle.  They are sweet and juicy but on the small side.  

A new citrus variety we offer are Mandelo, from Stoney Point Orchard in Loomis, organic certified. Mandelo are a cross between a mandarin and a pomelo.  They are sweet and juicy even though they look like a grapefruit.

No Eureka lemons yet.  But we have Meyer lemons from Lupi farm in Granite Bay.  Meyer lemons are less tart than sour lemons and have a nice flavor and fragrance.  Their rind is often used for flavoring.


HOURS:

Tues through Sat  10:00 am to 6 pm 

Sunday  11:00 am to 5:00 pm

CLOSED ON MONDAYS 


Sunset after a stormy day. 1/6/24





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




Hoshigaki:  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. We began peeling persimmons in October.  We peeled the last persimmons at the beginning of December. The hoshigaki is available in the farm stand. You may drop in for on farm pick up.  Contact us for large on-farm pick-up orders. (916) 791-1656 or email at otowochard@yahoo.com. 
For mail orders please use our mail order form  for the 2023 season.

Apples

        Fuji: Known for being sweet juicy and always crisp.

        Granny Smith:  A green sweet tart apple.  Popular pie apple.  Special characteristic is that it stays white after being cut, it does not turn brown after being cut.

        Pink Lady:  Crisp and juicy apple with fantastic balance of sweet and tartness.  The skin is a beautiful pinkish red. Refreshing and very flavorful.  Limited supply.

Asian Pears: 

    Okusankichi:  Large winter Asian pear.  It is a good keeper.  It is sweet with a hint of tartness.  Juicy and crisp. 

Persimmons:

    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. Used for making hoshigaki.

    Gyombo:  Tall Acorn-shaped persimmon with grooves down the four sides of the fruit.  Like the Hachiya persimmon, it is astringent until soft and jelly-like.  It becomes very soft, juicy, and sweet.

    Fuyu:  Apple type persimmon. Can be eaten hard and crisp.  These are always sweet and a favorite among our customers and future customers. At this time they are becoming more orange-red and the flesh is tender, sweet and more juicy. Use for fresh eating.

    Hyakume,(Cinnamon):  This is another brown fleshed persimmon. Often referred to as cinnamon.  When pollinated, Hyakume will be naturally sweet.  When partially pollinated or when it has no pollination, Hyakume will be astringent.  We use the ones we think are mostly astringent to make Vodka persimmons. Persimmons treated with vodka are always sweet. Their flesh may be brown or yellow and may be eaten hard or soft.  At this time, only the Vodka persimmons are available.

Honey ๐Ÿฏ from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard. Bee pollen from bees ๐Ÿ at Otow Orchard.

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

English Walnuts:  In the shell.  You have to crack them.


Here is what we have from other producers:

Mihara Farm in Newcastle, CA, Conventional practices.  Satsuma mandarins. Sweet, juicy.

La Bella Vito Farm in Loomis is bringing us fresh๐Ÿฅš eggs from pastured ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”chickens.

Kijani Farm

in Granite Bay, organic practices:

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

Stoney Point Farm, Organic certified, Loomis, CA:  Mandelo: Citrus fruit.  Cross between mandarin and pomelo.  It is sweet and juicy and is the size of a grapefruit.  Limited supply.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit:   Easy to peel white grapefruit. White flesh that is sweet or sweet-tart. Skin is greenish to yellow.

Lupi Farm  in Granite Bay, no spray:  Meyer Lemons:  Tasty and flavorful lemons, low in acid.


 
Kneading nearly finished hoshigaki.

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