Fruit & News of the Week: January 15th 2017

This Week’s Fruit

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Warren European Pear
Frog Hollow Farm
Brentwood, CA
This is Frog Hollow Farm’s signature pear and for good reason. With a classic European texture, very soft and juicy with a silky sweetness that avoids the typical grittiness found in most pears.

Taracco Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm
Brentwood, CA
A beautiful orange to deep red flesh is revealed when you slice open a Tarocco. The flesh of the blood orange is firmer andmore dense than an orange and its flavor is a littl e more tart. These beauties sweeten and darken in color as the season progresses.

Meyer Lemons
Frog Hollow Farm
Brentwood, CA
Thought to be a cross between a regular (Eureka or Lisbon) lemon and a Mandarin orange. Meyer lemons were brought to the United States in the early 20th century by Frank Meyer. 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.

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 and thin skin.

….all varieties are subject to change……

 

A Note from Chef Becky

Dear CSA Members,
Today, as I write this note, we are finishing up our first days picking of Tarocco blood oranges. They are a welcome burst of California
sunshine on this muddy, cold, and foggy day. I just now brixed them and 2 out of 3 brixed at 14! For a peach that’s not great but
for a blood orange it’s wonderful! And they are tasting wonderful, they’re heavy with juice and bigger than I remember them being
in the past. The flesh has beautiful color with a ring of red around the circumference and a bright orange center. The red color varies
according to the temperature while the fruit is maturing. The cold temperatures we had in December have made for slightly redder
fruit. The red color comes from anthocyanin pigments, which is a natural flavonoid antioxidant, also responsible for the color of many
other fruits including pomegranates and berries. It never achieves the winey, burgundy, deep red of its cousin the Moro, but it’s juice is
more complex, and I think superior.
I can’t wait to get started on blood orange and strawberry marma- lade. The Dirty Girl strawberries have been lying in wait for its citrus
partner to be made into what is our most popular marmalade. Get it while it lasts we don’t have too many off grade Taroccos to make
it with! I may complain about the cold, but we need it and this fog keeps the moisture in from the very badly needed rain we just had. We
have 431 chill hours accumulated so far; better than last year at this time but behind 2015 and way behind 2013. We had some chill in
December, but you may remember, November was quite warm (70 degrees on Thanksgiving!) We only have about a month and half to
rack up a total of 800+ hours which would be the minimal, desired amount. Hopefully, it will stay cold at night and not get too warm
during the day which can offset the 45 degree and below temperatures we need. Stone fruit growers are obsessive about chill hours.

The change in daylight hours signals the trees to go into dormancy. But how they come out of dormancy is related to cold weather be- tween November 1 to February 28th. The cold temperatures break down the hormone responsible for dormancy and allow the buds to develop and open evenly as well as help leaf production. If there are not enough chill hours, we will experience a light and scattered bloom which translates to low fruit production.
So, I will tell myself to be grateful for the fog and cold and have hope for this coming seasons‘ stone fruit crop. At least I have blood
oranges to get me through it.

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