Fruit and News of the Week: April 18th


 Hass Avocado
Churchill, 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.

Valencia Oranges
Sundance, Oceanside, CA
Valencia Oranges are known for their very sweet tasting and brightly colored juice. They are one of the most popular varieties used for bottled juices because of this. Their sweet, bright flavor and minimal seed content and sweet flesh that makes them a perfect snack.

Pixie Tangerines
Churchill, Ojai, CA
Pixie tangerines are a late season variety that begin ripening in March and April. Their tough skin gives way to fruit with a very robust flavor.

Ruby Grapefruit
Sundance, Oceanside, 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.

Albion Strawberries
JW Farm, Watsonville, CA
The Albion is a newer variety strawberry developed at UC Davis. Strawberries are early this year! The sweet flavor and firm flesh makes the Albion an excellent dessert or preserving berry.


Sweet Anne Strawberries
JW Farm, Watsonville, CA
Sweet Anne is a fairly new variety, created to grow in the coastal climates like Santa Cruz County. Sweet Annes are usually big, conically-shaped berries with excellent sweet flavor.


Dear CSA Members,

The geography of this place-our farm- never ceases to amaze and delight me. Last week at this time it started to rain. We had already begun to irrigate a few of our orchards because everything is growing and the weather had been warm and dry for weeks, and then came the rain; an incredible storm – the likes of which is rarely seen here in California. It rained steadily for three days. Here, on the farm, we accumulated well over an inch of rain, which is the equivalent of a full irrigation. That alone was a huge benefit just in terms of the money it saved us in water costs, which have gone up drastically due to drought! But, in fact, there’s a long list of benefits provided to the farm by this unusual storm:

  1. Cost savings in irrigation water
  2. Cost savings in irrigation labor
  3. Rain water enlivens the soil and stimulates plant growth in ways far better than irrigation water does!
  4. Rain washes the dust off of leaves and fruit
  5. Rain actually inhibits growth of powdery mildew on peaches, nectarines and plums, which is the most persistent pest we spray for at this time of year.
  6. Rain grows our cover crops… something that our irrigation system doesn’t do! This adds organic matter to the soil and helps build carbon in the soil, a huge benefit to all plant growth.

Of course, there is always a downside. In this case it was fire blight. In April, our Pink Lady apples still have bloom, and that is very susceptible to fire blight. This will cost us extra labor to prune out the infected blossoms and branches. If that pruning is not done in a timely fashion, this deadly disease will kill the whole tree…a very costly outcome.

But overall, this latest storm was a godsend. And now, a week later, it’s almost as if it never happened. Everything is dry and dusty again. Its’ truly a remarkable geography, and it’s what grows our great fruit.

Farmer Al

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