Fruit & News of the Week: June 26th 2017

This week’s fruit:

Rich Lady Peaches
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Rich with both color and flavor, the Rich Lady peach is a superb yellow-fleshed semi-freestone developed by Floyd Zaiger, acclaimed plant breeder, of Zaiger Genetics.

Ruby Diamond Nectarines
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Ruby Diamond is our best early-season nectarine in Farmer Al’s opinion. It’s a brilliantly crimson free- stone with a very good eating quality. Juicy and firm it has the perfect blend of tangy and sweet that nectarine fans love.

Santa Rosa Plums
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Famed California horticulturist Luther Burbank bred this plum in his Santa Rosa plant research center. Red-skinned with a purple bloom, its amber flesh gets flushed with red. It’s plump perfection with tender flesh that’s extremely sweet and juicy. A bit of tartness in the skin balances out the sweetness.


A Note from Rachel:

Dear CSA Members,

Last week a group of us took a field trip to TomKat Ranch in Pescadero – 3 miles off Highway 1 in the rolling hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As we drove along the coast, the fog was so thick that we could only see a few feet ahead of us… but as soon as we turned into the ranch, the sky was solid blue and you could practically see the grasses photosynthesizing.

TomKat Ranch is an 1800-acre cattle ranch: a diverse landscape of grazable grassland, coastal scrub, and forested and riparian areas. TomKat Ranch’s mission is to “provide healthy food on working lands in a way that sustains the planet and inspires others to action,” through on-the-ground regenerative rangeland management. Their grazing/land management style entails moving cattle strategically through the land, resulting in a nutritious grass-fed beef product, while simultaneously building healthy soil, improving carbon and water cycles and supporting ecological biodiversity. The method goes beyond trying to sustain a status quo above and below ground, but strives to strengthen and regenerate life across all trophic levels. To track ecological change, TomKat works with Point Blue Conservation Science to conduct yearly vegetation, soil health and bird population monitoring. This monitoring data, collected by Point Blue, is then extremely useful to the ranch’s cattle team during their yearly grazing planning meeting and also posted freely on their website for customers and skeptics alike.

On the ranch, they are discovering many benefits of regenerative management, from increased perennial grasses (which have longer roots and arguably better impact on soil health than annual grasses) to high carbon sequestration potential in soils. TomKat’s 5-year goal is to inspire the transition of 1 million acres of grassland in California to regenerative management! To do this, they not only collect and share their own ecological data, but also support the tools, policies and technologies that aid the adoption of regenerative ranching for others. As a former intern at TomKat Ranch, I was excited to bring together the Frog Hollow team with the TomKat folks. On our tour, we had a great time geeking out about bird migrations, carbon, cows, compost and insects – it was a fun coming-together of fruit and beef people who share similar values.

….To be continued next week!…

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