Fruit & News of the Week: July 18th


Zee Lady Peaches
Frog Hollow Farm,  Brentwood, CA
Renowned horticulturist Floyd Zaiger is responsible for many of our favorite varieties, and the Zee Lady is another Zaiger gem. The Zee Lady is a good sized peach that’s a real beauty, with a vibrant red blush dusted over a warm golden skin. This freestone peach is as great for baking as it is eating out of hand.

Fantasia Nectarines
Frog Hollow Farm,  Brentwood, CA
Quickly becoming one of our best-known and most popular varieties, the Fantasia is a large, tapered heirloom variety. It’s deep golden flesh is amazingly sweet and smooth, and its marbled bright red skin makes for exceptionally beautiful presentation. Like many of our more unique and heirloom varieties, the Fantasia is a far more fragile fruit than most farms will even consider growing. Like the Suncrest peach that often ripens at the same time, the Fantasia is easily bruised when allowed to ripen properly on the branch, but we’re sure you’ll agree that the taste is well worth the risk.

Flavor King Pluot
Frog Hollow Farm,  Brentwood, CA
A dark-skinned pluot with red flesh, it has an intense rich flavor combined with sweet, spicy tones that are reminiscent of the Santa Rosa. A nice acid bite and firm texture that softens beautifully as the fruit continues to ripen, the Flavor King is amazing out of hand and equally good for baking.

Dapple Dandy Pluot
Frog Hollow Farm,  Brentwood, CA
Playfully called the “dinosaur egg” pluot, the Dapple Dandy has marbled pink and green skin over delicate white flesh threaded with rose. Kids especially love this pluot for its distinctive coloration and the lack of tartness in the skin.

Opal White Peach
Frog Hollow Farm,  Brentwood, CA
Very low in acid, the Opal’s sweetness comes across two-fold. A beautiful dessert peach, the Opal has a delicate pink blush to its skin and mild flesh with a hint of vanilla.


Dear CSA Members,

By all accounts the fruit this year is the sweetest ever. Naturally the first thought that comes into my mind when I hear this is “why?”. If I can figure out “why”, then I can repeat it next year, and the next, and the next, etc. Is it the compost? Is it that new “fish hydrolosate” fertilizer we used last year for the first time? Or was it the oyster-shell lime we used in the fall? Or… is it the weather? WHAT is it?!?!

There are a large number of factors that all combine and converge to make a crop of tree fruit. All of the above things I mentioned, plus irrigation scheduling, pruning, thinning and timing of the harvest. It’s a huge mystery, one which farmers across the world have been trying to solve since the beginning of time. If I solve it, I’ll be famous!

Speaking of time and harvest timing, this year is a first: we’re harvesting three varieties all on the same day which are historically picked WEEKS apart. O’Henry’s, Summer Lady’s and Zee Lady’s. And, we’re picking them a week earlier than any previous harvest! It’s been a strange year, but when the fruit is this good? Who’s complaining?

One of the theories for why the fruit is so good this year is the rains we had this past winter. There is some talk due to the severe drought conditions we had in the previous three winters when the rains finally did come the trees shifted into survival mode figuring this may be their last chance to shine (or survive). So our trees are producing lots of amazing fruit for all of us to enjoy all in the hopes that if we like what they give us, we will take extra good care of them and make sure they go on. It’s an interesting thought, anyway.

Time to head out to the orchard and check on my crews.


Farmer Al

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2 comments on “Fruit & News of the Week: July 18th
  1. Carmen Mahhod says:

    We are newcomers and loved our first fruit box. We had so many delicious peaches and are experienced sorbet makers, so we decided to try your peach sorbet recipe. Unfortunately, the taste was sour and not peachy. We used honey from our neighborhood and unsweetened almond milk from Trader Joe’s. The flavor was so unpleasant that we ended up throwing it away. A sad end for our lovely peaches.
    Did we do something wrong with the recipe? Feedback, please.

    • Lael Gerhart says:

      Hi Carmen, Welcome to Frog Hollow Farm’s CSA! We are glad that you enjoyed your first box.
      We are so sorry to hear that the sorbet did not turn out well for you. I am not sure what would cause the sorbet to taste so sour as the only acid you are adding is the lemon rind, which should not cause the mixture to taste sour. The rind may cause a bit of bitterness. When making sorbets, I like to make sure that the peaches are almost too ripe to eat, which does help with the sweetness of the sorbet. I am sorry that the recipe did not work well for you, though, and I hope recipes in the future will be a tasty way to eat your fruit!

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