Fruit & News of the Week: September 26th

THIS WEEK’S FRUIT: 

Flavor Rich Pluots
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
A small pluot about the size of golf ball with deep purple skin and a golden flesh that has an excellent balance of acidity and sweetness.

Hosui Asian Pears
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Hosuis have a rougher, thicker skin than the other Asian pear varieties we grow. They have a flesh that while still crunchy has a more melting mouthful, making the texture combination when eaten out of hand spectacular. Very sweet with a mild pear taste, their round shape and beautiful golden hue make them ideal for presentation with a distinctively Autumnal feel.

Shinseiki Asian Pears
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Shinseiki is medium-sized pear with smooth yellow skin. They’re nicely crisp with a sweet white flesh that’s refreshingly juicy.

Pink Lady Apples
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Pink Lady’s are a cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. They are a crisp and juicy apple with a tart finish. Pink skins and a creamy white colored flesh that resists browning make this an excellent apple for salads and slicing.

Warren Pears
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Featured in Martha Stewart Living and Oprah’s Favorite Things List, this is Frog Hollow Farm’s signature pear and for good reason. The Warren pear has a classic European texture – very soft and juicy – with a silky sweetness that avoids the typical grittiness found in most varieties.

Muscat Grapes
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Muscat family is among the oldest of grape varieties. A gorgeous green to golden blush color gives way to a perfumey and sweet flavor. These grapes have seeds but the flavor is worth the effort.

….all varieties are subject to change…

A NOTE FROM FARMER AL:

Dear CSA Members,

Fall has officially arrived!  It brings with it lower temperatures, coolish breezes, long shadows in the afternoons and lingering deep purple and amber sun downs.

Apricot pruning will be done today and then we’ll finish our month-long project to open up the Warren pear trees. We are removing (with chain saws) all branches growing into the middles of the trees, thus creating an open vase structure for each tree. This gets more sunlight to the fruiting wood on all the perimeter branches, creating and energizing fruit buds for next year’s crop.

Compost production is ramping up as is compost spreading. Christophe came up with what I think is a really great idea: to mix and blend vermicompost with the thermophile compost. Here’s how we do it; instead of removing the worms from the vermicompost, we simply take an entire windrow of vermicompost with worms still in it and mix it with a similar quantity of thermophilic compost. This blend will be applied by hand, using 5 gallon buckets around each of our 5,000 newly planted trees. So now we have a small mound of compost about 3-5 inches thick around each trees WITH WORMS!  This is really great for not only the soil, but it will act as a mulch to maintain moisture around each tree and suppress weed growth.

This whole operation requires lots more labor than most farmers could tolerate but, for me it’s a “win-win”. First of all, it keeps my really great crew employed at a time of year when there is a lull in the usual activities of picking, pruning, thinning etc. Second, the trees will grow better. Third, the fruit will taste better, and lastly, there’ll be more vitamins and minerals for each fruit.

 

Happy Autumn!

Farmer Al 

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