This Week’s Fruit
Pink Lady Apples
A cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams, the Pink Lady is a crisp and juicy apple with a tart finish. Pink skins and a creamy white colored flesh that resists browning makes, this an excellent apple for salads and slicing. Store on your counter out of direct light for 4-5 days. Refrigerate after to maintain crispness.
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. Pears are ripe when wrinkled and yielding slightly near the stem. Pears will store well in the fridge once they have reached your optimal ripeness.
Shinko Asian Pears
The Shinko is a large pear with its round shape 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. Enjoy these from the counter within 5-7 days.
Abounding Harvest Farm, Los Gatos
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. Store these whole in the fridge or enjoy within 2-3 days if left on the counter.
Abounding Harvest Farm, Los Gatos
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. Avocado will yield to pressure when ripe. Store on the counter.
A Note From Farmer Al
Dear CSA Members,
Friday, Dr Gordon Frankie and his crew of volunteer grad students were here on the farm to plant more bee plants and to top prune the Vitex trees, lavender and other plants. They were also observing the diversity of native Bees present along with beneficial insects. One of them, Laura, was pruning the lavender plants and she noticed several Praying Mantises.
First, a note on how to spell this…it is spelled “praying” mantis because this big bug actually appears to be in the posture of prayer with folded fore-limbs as they perch on branches “preying” for their food. They are masters of disguise, blending with the habitat in both color and shape. The one we found and captured was in that lavender that Laura was pruning and its color matched perfectly that of the lavender. Even its body parts, thorax, legs and neck all seem to match perfectly the twigs, leaves and branches of the lavender.
Laura gave me the Mantis which I carefully confined in an old plastic con- tainer that was handy, and then she cut me several branches of the lavender. I brought everything home and put the lavender and Mantis in a half gallon jar…the Mantis terrarium.
Maddie and Millie were very excited and interested in the new guest, and within minutes they had captured a half dozen house flies to put into the new mantis mansion. Now, 2 days later the flies are gone and the mantis seems to be searching for food. My daughters will become very busy feeding this vora- cious carnivore. It is their voracity that makes them one of the most controver- sial insects. Because they eat anything, they don’t discriminate between good and bad bugs so they will eat the bee as well as the moth and the fly as well as the butterfly and if nothing else is available, each other. But, in the final analy- sis, they are good because ultimately they help keep balance in the eco-system in the orchard.
The grad students also found some mantis eggs stuck to the branch so I brought them home as well. We will put them into a protected place and hopefully hatch a new brood of Mantis nymphs this Spring.