Fruit and News: Week of March 10th 2013

This Week’s Fruit


Hass Avocados
Rainbow Eco Farm, Rainbow,CA or Las Palmalitas, Carpinteria, CA
Creamy in texture, nutty in flavor, with a small to medium seed. The Hass skin is easy to peel and darkens from green to purplish-black as it ripens. You can tell it is ripe by the color of the skin (dark) and if it yields to pressure.

Pink Lady Apples & Fuji Apples
Cayuma Orchards, New Cayuma, CA
A cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams, the Pink Lady is a crisp and juicy apple with a tart finish. A creamy white colored flesh that resists browning makes this an excellent apple for salads and slicing. Also a modern day favorite for eating out of hand. A cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams, the Pink Lady is a crisp and juicy apple with a tart finish. A creamy white colored flesh that resists browning makes this an excellent apple for salads and slicing. Also a modern day favorite for eating out of hand. Fujis are a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, an heirloom apple dating back to Thomas Jeffrson. Fujis are loved by many for their crisp, sweet, and juicy character.

Hayward Kiwi
Chiechi Farms, Live Oak, CA
Originally known as the Chinese gooseberry due to its Chinese orgins. Hawyward Wright, a New Zealand nurseryman propagated his plants by grafting and they eventually became the preferred cultivar of growers due to their sweet flavor and thin skin.

Navel Oranges
Etheridge Farm, Dinuba, CA
California Navel Oranges are considered to be the best Navels for eating out of hand. They have a thick skin that is easy to peel, are seedless, and have a meaty and sweet flesh that makes them a perfect snack. Navels are also great for juicing and cooking.

Murcott Tangerines
Etheridge Farm, Dinuba, CA
Murcott Tangerines are late season tangerine known for their rich flavor and deeply hued flesh and juice. Their small size and sweet juice makes them a favorite with little ones.
Moro Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
A beautiful orange to deep red flesh is revealed when you slice open a Tarocco. The flesh of the blood orange is firmer and more dense than an orange and its flavor is a little more tart. These beauties sweeten and darken in color as the season progresses.

A Note from Farmer Al

Dear CSA Members,

What a splendid day we had for our 3rd annual Blossom Walk. The farm was a palette of pinks, purples and fluffy white as we strolled through the trees to the bees. Alan Hawkins, resident bee-keeper, was poetic about his Italian honey bees, their history, their vital role in production of our food, and their recent challenges of survival in the modern world of industrial agriculture and environmental degradation.

He says his bees are doing better than most bees in California and he attributes their health to the abundance and diversity of flora planted here at Frog Hollow Farm for the native bee project. And the lush ground-cover of naturally occurring weeds like mustard, shepherd’s purse, henbit, and fiddleneck also provide nectar and pollen to help his colonies survive the cold winter months. So, bees are happy, I am happy and hopefully all of you, the folks who actually eat this fruit, will be very happy!

We all ambled back to our lunch area of tables set amidst a mix of passionate pink peach blossoms and enjoyed our picnics. Then Sara Leon Geurrero from Dr. Gordon Frankie’s UC Berkeley Native Bee research group spoke to us about the natives….bees of course. Two years into this 10 year research program, they’ve identified 50 species of native bees found here at Frog Hollow. She had display boxes of them to show us (think bees mounted on pins in a glass covered case, with identification next to each specimen in tiny print). There is “Bob” (blue orchard bee), and “green carpenter”, the “head-bonker bee” (Sara’s favorite because one actually bonked her on the head one time), bumble bees, and a host of others. After we examined the “targets”, we were given nets to seek and capture. In no time at all, kids were back to show us their prizes, and Sara may have inspired some future bee fanatics to help carry on her work.

Special thanks from us all go to Lael Gerhart for organizing this beautiful day, and to every member of our staff who worked to make it so enjoyable.

Signature of Farmer Al

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