This week’s fruit:
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 awayfrom putting the time and effort into a fruit that tastes so good. With a classic European texture, very soft and juicy with a silky sweetness that avoids the typical grittiness found in most pears.
Olsen Organics – Lindsay, Ca
Clementines are very sweet, juicy, easy to peel, and usually seedless, making them very popular with children and adults alike. Store out of sunlight for 2-4 days on the counter or up to two weeks in the fridge. Read more on our blog aboout Olsen Organics: http://bit.ly/2grsBOE
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. Pro tip: just slice in half and scoop fruit out with a spoon. Saves time on peeling! Read more on our blog about Chiechi Farm: http://bit.ly/2gZUvT5
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Most commonly cultivated in Asia and the Middle East, the kumquat is shaped like a much smaller, more oval orange and is hardier than its citrus kin. Kumquats are generally eaten whole out of hand. The outer, sweet rind is edible and offers a contrast to the tangy, inner flesh. We have only a few kumquat trees, so enjoy these treats while we have them.
Cuyama, 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.
…all varieties are subject to change…
A Note from Chef Becky
Dear CSA Members,
Even though the holidays are over, we are still busier than ever. The month of January always gets filled up with conferences, meetings and the undertaking of new projects, mostly having to do with preparing for the 2018 harvest.
Finding an industrial size peach peeler so that we can peel peaches faster, building solar driers for the dried fruit trays, testing a prototype of a new drying tray or “basket”, just to name a few. All this so we can produce more dried peaches. We’ve already run out and it’s only January, 6 months before we start drying again. That just won’t do!
Then there are the 24,000 lbs of Warren pears that need to be frozen. This years’ bumper crop of Warren pears has left us with lots of extra fruit to play with. So, we’re freezing as much as we can while they are still perfectly ripe. The Warrens were particularly delicious this year and the fruit is holding up beautifully. We will be creating new winter items with the pears like cinnamon rolls, Pear caramel ice cream, and pear butter.
Our amazing summit wheat crop from last summer is being used in our delicious whole wheat olive oil crackers, graham crackers and soon a “middling” muffin. Middlings are the by-product of the wheat milling process. It contains different proportions of endosperm, bran, and germ. White flour is made entirely from the endosperm or protein/starchy part of the grain, omitting the bran or fiber part and the germ which is the richest part of the grain in protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. David Kaisel, our amazing flour miller, sifts out and separates the bran and middlings for us. After the middlings and the bran, we have what’s called the “siftings”, or a light brown more finely ground whole wheat flour. We are creating a muffin that’s using mostly the middlings and some bran added some pear puree for sweetness and a handful of John Glick’s organic blueberries.
If that isn’t enough we are also going to be a licensed cannery. By next season we will be able to produce our stellar tomato ketchup, delicious peach ketchup, and our amazing marinara sauce, all on the farm.
I forgot to mention the Meyer lemons, which came a little early this year. They are big, beautiful and juicy and we’re picking them now. The Seville oranges are looking good, as are the Bergamot oranges. Farmer Al has decided that’s his favorite marmalade. Get it while it lasts; there’s only one tree!
Cheers and Happy New Year