Fruit & News of the Week: October 9th, 2017

Fruit of the Week:

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.

Red Flame Seedless Grapes
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Enjoy these out of hand or try them in green salads, chicken salads, or fruit salads.

Shinko Asian Pear
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Shinko has a round shape which is slightly flattened. The skin is bronze with brown russeting and its juicy, creamy white flesh has a subtly rich flavor. One of the last pears to pick, it comes off the tree with a butterscotch note to its sweetness.

Fuji Apples
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
This year’s crop of Fujis may not be the prettiest but they are tasty. They are delightfully crisp with a sweet finish. Small sized fruit make them perfect for packed lunches.

Warren European Pear
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
This is Frog Hollow Farm’s signature pear and for good reason.
Too difficult to grow for most farmers to consider it’s never
caught on commercially but Farmer Al has never shied away
from putting the time and effort into a fruit that tastes so good.
It has a classic European texture, very soft and juicy with a
silky sweetness that avoids the typical grittiness found in
most pears.

Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Native to the regions of Persia and the Western Himalayan range, pomegranates have been cultivated for several millennia. When sliced open a beautiful array of jewel-like seeds are displayed. The aril is the colorful casing that surrounds the edible seeds and has a sweet tart flavor. Enjoy the arils alone or use them in salads, desserts, or beverages.

…all varieties are subject to change…


News of the Week:

A Note from Rachel

Dear CSA Members,

With fall finally here, we have been switching gears to winter-planning mode. There’s a lot to get done before the trees go dormant! Not only are we focused on pruning our older trees, but we’re also giving our younger trees a close check-up.

Before leaves fall, we need to carefully evaluate the success rate of our young orchards, so that we can order the correct number of replacement trees to make up for any losses. Last week I started this process in our youngest 20-acre orchard: a mixed block of apricots, peaches, nectarines and pluots. To do this I walked each row and counted two types of trees: those which didn’t make it and those whose grafts didn’t “take.” For a refresher, all our trees are grafted in the nursery, meaning that the main cultivar on the aboveground part of the tree (branches, leaves, fruit) was combined with a rootstock (lower trunk and root system) of a different variety or even fruit type. For example, our Autumn Blaze nectarine performs well on a Nemaguard rootstock, which is actually a peach, but is vigorous and resistant to root-knot nematode.

At this time of year, the dead trees are easy to spot: wimpy barren twigs with no vegetative growth, scattered in between leafy, deep green neighbors. We will order enough trees this year to replace these empty spots. The unsuccessful grafts also stick out: the entire tree –trunk, leaves, and branches–  is purple-brown in color. These are trees in which the rootstock growth overpowered the growth of the graft (or scion)–  they would bear no good fruit, if any at all. We mark these trees with bright pink ribbons. That way, in a few months when everything is leafless and asleep our team will know which trees need re-grafting. We’ll give you a lesson on grafting this winter, when the time comes!

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