Fruit & News of the Week: February 19th 2018

This Week’s Fruit:

Minneloa Tangelos
Twin Girls, 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.

Hass Avocado
Churchill Orchards, Ojai, CA
Creamy in texture, nutty in flavor, with a small to medium seed. The Hass skin is easy to peel and darkens from green to purplish-black as it ripens.

Moro Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Moros have a deep red flesh and tart flavor with a rind that tends to blush into hues of red. The Moro is a wonderful orange for juicing or cooking due to its bright flavor and color.

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.

Navel Oranges
Olsen Organics, Lindsay, 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.

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.

Star Ruby Grapefruit
Rainbow 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.
….all varieties are subject to change……


A Note from Farmer Al

Dear CSA Members,
This week we’re planting trees, one of my favorite activities of the entire year. And the conditions are very good…not perfect, but so much better than last year. The last rain was almost three weeks ago so, while the moisture content of the soil is good, it’s just dry enough for shovels to dig easily and their cover the bare roots of the trees with loose dirt. The crumbly soil easily fills in around the roots and makes good contact with every nook & cranny leaving no air pockets. It is imperative for the growth of the tree that the roots have contact with moisture and soil and the nutrients in them. Roots will not grow in air, they will die off and so eventually will the tree. Air pressure will push air into the soil and air pockets can form even 3 feet below the surface. That is why we spend so much time and energy ripping and disking the ground to break up the clumps and clods of soil, months before planting.
Each day, almost hourly, I remind my planting crew of the details: Roots must be pointing downward in the hole, the roots must be covered to the same level on the trunk as they were in the nursery. (The color of below-ground bark is white and above-ground bark is brownish-grey). That line of color demarcation is the “crown”, and it’s right at that area of the tree that a deadly bacterium called “crown gall” can develop. If the tree is nicked during weeding or hoeing, a gall (like a tumor) can develop on the trunk and eventually choke the tree.
About 40 years ago, a scientist named Dick Bahme at UC Berkeley discovered an antagonistic bacterium closely related to the crown gall bacterium. He developed a way to reproduce it into active cultures, deliverable in Petri dishes that can be distributed to farms. At the beginning of each day of planting, we mix 3 petri dishes in a 3-gallon backpack sprayer. At the time of planting, we spray the roots of the trees just moments before it goes in the ground, so that the roots are well colonized by the beneficial bacteria when planted. We’ve been using this process of biological control for over 20 years and during that time I haven’t seen a single case of crown gall on our trees.
I’m off to plant more trees; 20 acres down and 35 more to go!
Farmer Al

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