Fruit and News of the Week: April 25th


Apache Apricots
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Apache is one of the newest varieties of apricots introduced to growers and was developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service. It’s early off the tree but doesn’t sacrifice any flavor or texture to beat its more popular cous- ins off the branch. Apache’s skin is pinkish-orange, with an orange flesh that is finely textured. See Note from Farmer Al for best eating experience.

Hass Avocado
Churchill-Brenneis Orchard, 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.

Navel Oranges
Sundance Farm, Oceanside, 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.

Pixie Tangerines
Churchill-Brenneis Orchard, 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
Churchill-Brenneis Orchard, Ojai, 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 or Sweet Anne Strawberries
JW Farm, Watsonville, CA
Both varieties are fairly new to commercial farms. Both are sweet and firm fleshes. The Albion is also excellent for baking and preserving. The Sweet Anne are usually large and conical in shape



Dear CSA members,

Rain Again!

They’ve been predicting rain for a week now but somehow I never really quite believed it would happen. Even though just two weeks ago we did get rain, and a lot of it, not just April showers. That storm dropped 1 1/2″ of rain on our farm here. It was wonderful! Saved us a full round of irrigation.

Today’s rain is mostly just a big fat nuisance. For starters, today is our first day of picking for this 2016 summer fruit season. And, it’s a new record for earliest start of stonefruit, by about a week, which to me is amazing! So the rain shut us down for about one hour at 9:00 am. After that we’ve been dealing with muddy roads, muddy tires, mud tracking into the packing shed, muddy boots, etc. You get the picture: it’s messy.

And cold! And windy! We definitely don’t enjoy it but we are grateful for it. And of course the trees love it.

I’m so pleased to bring you our first fruit of summer, the Apaches! I’ve been eating them all day and they’re yummy! And very sweet for being so early. Before picking, I brixed (measurement of sugar content) a dozen or so fruits and they were in the 13 brix to 18 brix range, which is very sweet for an early apricot. However, they may seem to you to be a bit green. The reason is that this variety, like the Blenheim, must be picked when they’re still a little green, because they fall to the ground as they ripen. Just leave them out in the kitchen at room temperature and “age” them for 2 – 4 days. The color will deepen, the flesh will get softer and juicier, and they’ll taste sweeter.

Well worth the wait to be patient.


Farmer Al

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