Fruit & News of the Week: February 5th, 2018

This Week’s Fruit:

Sanguinelli Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Sanguinelli flesh is sweet and ranges in color from orange with dark red streaking to a dark red maroon.

Meyer Lemons
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Thought to be a cross between a regular (Eureka or Lisbon) lemon and a Mandarin orange. They have a smooth deep yellow peel that is highly aromatic and great to use as zest in recipes and a sweeter less acidic flesh than standard lemons.

Minneola Tangelos
Twin Girls Farm, Dinuba, CA
The Tangelo is a cross between a mandarin and grapefruit. Its skin is easy to peel and its flesh is a deep orange, tender and juicy with a rich and sweet flavor.

Navel Oranges
Twin Girls Farm, Dibuba, 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. To read more about Ken Olson, please see previos blog post at http://bit.ly/2grsBOE.

Star Ruby Grapefruit
Raingbow Valley Orchards, Temecula, CA
The Grapefruit is said to be a cross between the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo, first documented in 1750. Under its thick, red-blushed skin you’ll find an aromatic, ruby red, juicy flesh with a perfect sweet tart flavor.

Fuji Apples
Cuyama Farm, New Cuyama, CA
Fujis are a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, an heirloom apple dating back to Thomas Jefferson. They are one of the sweetest variety apples around making them a
household favorite.

Hayward Kiwi
Chiechi Farm, Live Oak, CA
Originally known as the Chinese gooseberry due to its Chinese origins. 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.

….all varieties are subject to change……

 

A Note from Farmer Al

The dry weather we’re having right now is just the right thing at just the right time for Frog Hollow Farm.  Yes, February is the most pivotal period of the whole year for us. It’s the month really bad, devastating things could happen, or not.
Last year was one of those unlucky Februarys, apricots were in full bloom here when California got hit by one of the heaviest long-lasting storms in anyone’s memory.  All of our really apricot varieties, apache Kettleman, and Honey Rich were completely wiped out by the dreaded brown rot disease. As were midseason varieties Robada, and Helena.  Only the later flowering Golden sweets where weren’t yet in full bloom were spared the sword of this killer winter storm.  Yet, even so, the production of Golden sweets was down 50%.  Every day now I look at the ten-day forecast on my iPhone and see solid sunshine and warm days ahead and begin to hope that conditions this year will b very different, nevertheless, we will prepare for the worst.  We’ve already laid down a double dose of compost in each of our apricot blocks.  And this week Christophe, our compost-meister, will be brewing up compost tea to spray on the blossoms….good microbes to out compete for the “bad bugs” And Gregg Young, agronomist, etymologist, and environmentalist extraordinaire who’s been guiding Frog Hollow Farms organic journey for almost 30 years now, has found a new biological fungicide called “Botector ” which shows promise in controlling brown rot in apricots…cutting-edge science to advance the organic cause!
I love apricots. I eat them every day all day long when they are in season.  This year I’m counting on science and luck to bring in that golden bounty.

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