THIS WEEK’S FRUIT:
Apache Apricots or Kettleman 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. The Kettleman is named after the California town near where this apricot variety was bred and tested, the Kettleman is our second apricot variety to come off the tree. A rich golden red, the Kettleman has that bit of tartness that apricot fans love along with a beautiful aroma. Smooth-textured and delightfully sweet.
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.
Albion or Sweet Anne Strawberries
JW Farm, Watsonville, CA
Both varieties are fairly new to commercial farms. Both are sweet and firm fleshed. The Albion is also excellent for baking and preserving. The Sweet Anne are usually large and conical in shape. Mini boxes contain Sweet Anne and Single boxes contain Albion.
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.
A NOTE FROM CHEF BECKY:
Dear CSA Members,
Today it rained. Yesterday, it rained. I know the rain is good, “free irrigation”, it reduces dust and that the fruit will be fine. All that may be so, but the apricots are here, and I long for it to be sunny and warm.
As we scramble to get ready for the onslaught of fruit (which is actually upon us), we are stymied by theses recent days of rain. As you know, apricots, the Apaches, started early this year, which was great except the weather is acting like spring and is not cooperating with us. We have a long list of tasks to get done before the season starts, but today it rained earlier than expected and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow as well, putting off our projects until Monday. Meanwhile, apricots picked last week are beginning to accumulate.
This year we are planning to double our dried fruit production. We simply have not been able to keep up with the demand. We run out earlier and earlier every year and we want keep you all in dried fruit until at least next year’s harvest. Jose and crew have been working like crazy getting our dry yard for fruit ready and it’s looking great. We’ve expanded the physical area, our crew has made 150 more drying trays, and we put in permanent infrastructure like an overhang and a washing area. Our local welder is making us special racks to our specifications so we get maximum air flow around the trays so the fruit will dry faster and more evenly. Today, we had hoped to be able to get the shade cloth up, but it began to rain and that put an end to that. And of course, we can’t start drying the fruit until we get some serious sunshine.
In the meantime, the kitchen is making some amazingly delicious tartlets, galettes, and crisps with the Apaches. Traditionally, we have used the Apaches primarily for pastries and drying but this year we are going to freeze some as well because they have such great flavor and texture and, we have just so many of them!
Next week, it looks like it’s going to start actually looking like summer here; 90˚ on Wednesday, and I can’t wait!