Fruit & News of the Week: June 6th

THIS WEEK’S FRUIT: 

 Stella Cherries
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Stella cherries are dark, almost to the point of being black, and slightly smaller than other dark cherry varieties. The Stella is the final cherry of a brief season. Enjoy!

Golden Sweet Apricots
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Golden Sweet is a smaller apricot that makes up for whatever it lacks in size with its rich flavor. Though we may bake pastries featuring other varieties, the Golden Sweet is our variety of choice for our best-selling apricot conserve. Another California born and bred variety, it has a brilliant golden orange skin with a soft blush.

Cot -n- Candy Apriums
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
A white fleshed aprium developed by renownded plant breeder Floyd Zaiger. Characteristic of white fleshed stone fruit, these apriums have a more subtle sweetness than orange varieties, but with notes of honeydew, they are sure to please. These delicate fruits bruise easily, so handle with care.

Blenheim Apricots
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
A Slow Food Arc of Taste apricot that has been growing in the Santa Clara Valley since the 1900’s. Small in size like our Golden Sweet the Blenheims are prized for their sweet tart flavor and aromatic qualities. A great apricot for preserving, drying, and eating out of hand.

Gold Dust Peaches
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Gold Dust is one of our favorites and the first truly outstanding peach of the season for eating out of hand. An heirloom variety, it is low in acid and smaller than most of our peaches. Its juicy, melting texture and sweetness can hardly be beat.

June Glo Nectarines
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
An early season, yellow fleshed nectarine that is semi-freestone and full of flavor. A great fruit by plant breeder Flyod Zaiger.

A NOTE FROM KRISTIN: 

The Week of the Apricot

Dear CSA Members,

We have a great line up of fruit for you this week, and boy have we been busy keeping up with the harvest schedule! This heat spell means that the fruit is ripening rapidly, so our main focus is getting the fruit off the trees. Last week we began harvesting the Golden Sweets, and on Friday we began harvesting our acre of Blenheim apricots. From the 1920s-1950s, Blenheims were the mainstay of the apricot industry. Since then, Blenheims have been replaced with new, more robust varieties, and they are now non-existent in commercial apricot production. The problem with Blenheims is that they are extremely delicate and soft at maturity. This means that they cannot be stacked during harvest and have a minimal shelf life. The sugar content of these Blenheims apricots is high, so they make fantastic conserve. Needless to say, our kitchen has been scrambling to get these beauties processed.

As all of you know, at Frog Hollow we strive to fully ripen our fruit on the tree. When it comes to apricots, this tradition proves complex, because apricots are the most susceptible to fruit drop. Even a light wind, can send a ripe apricot plummeting to the ground. Last year around this time, we had a heavy wind storm and we sadly lost hundreds of boxes worth of apricots. The decision when to harvest the apricots is a constant balancing game: ripen to perfection on the branch, and harvest before fruit drop. Farmer Al refuses to sacrifice fruit quality by picking early. He pays close attention to the weather as it plays a large role is his decision. As of now, the heat wave is on, but no wind is in the forecast, so we have waited a couple extra days before harvesting. Irrigating also helps the situation, by strengthening the connection between the fruit’s stem and the branch. In anticipation of this heat wave, Farmer Al increased his irrigation schedule, so the Blenheims and Golden Sweets got a good soaking to prolong their life on the tree. We hope you enjoy your apricots this week, and we will continue to do our best in the careful balancing act of fruit perfection.

 

 

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