Fruit & News of the Week: May 16th


 Honey Rich Apriums
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
An Aprium is a cross between an apricot and a plum. Both the Aprium and the Pluot were developed by Floyd Zaiger outside of Modesto, CA using the “low tech” method of cross-pollinating plum and apricot trees and then selecting for certain traits. The Honeyrich is a prime example of the aprium which most strongly resembles its apricot parentage. Sweet even when the flesh is still crisp, they continue to ripen into soft juicy delicacies.

Rainier Cherries
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Created in 1952 at Washington State University, Rainiers are a cross between the Bing and Van. Plump, delicious, and with ex- tremely sweet creamy flesh, they can be more fragile than the dark cherries.

Crimson Lady Peaches
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
The Crimson Lady is one of the first peach varieties off the tree. It has a firm texture that is more springy than meltingly juicy. It’s sweet with little acid making it a real favorite with the kids. The Crimson Ladies are one of our favorite peaches to dry. Look for them in another month in the add-ons section to taste how uniquely chewy and delicious they are in their dried form.

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.

Ruby Grapefruit
Eco Farms, Temecula, 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.


Dear CSA Members,

I’m sitting here in the garden gracing our packing shed entry way for trucks, looking at a beautiful sight. It’s a very large plant called Salvia Clevelandii “Alana Chickening”. It’s literally swarming with huge black carpenter bees (which look a lot like bumble bees, but are bigger and slower, and gentler…they won’t sting you!)

Yes, Spring is in full swing here today, finally back to our normal wonderful warm weather. I’ve been noticing all of our native bee pollinator plants (planted by Dr. Gordon Frankie who is an avid CSA member and granola groupie along with his students from Cal Berkeley). The plants are teeming with bees this year. The recent spring rains have definitely had a very beneficial effect on the plants and the native bees are loving it.

Lastly, our two daughters and Becky & I joined our compost guru, Christophe out on our new 20 acre planting of peach trees to do a worm survey. Christophe has been producing tons of vermicompost which is loaded with red wigglers. We purchased 2000’ of “vermisoxx”, a black, fine meshed fabric sleeve. We fill with mesh sleeve with the worm laden compost and tie off both ends so that the worms are confined in the “sock” full of compost. Each sock is slightly larger than a soft ball, and weighs about 2lbs each when moist. Each sock is placed next to each newly planted tree. The hermaphrodite adult worms reproduce and their baby worms can wriggle right through the mesh of the vermisoxx into the soil around the young tree. Trees do better with worms! This is something we’ve demonstrated here with controlled experiments by Christophe.

So last evening we were checking…Maddie, Millie and Becky were going down rows of peach trees, lifting the soxx and looking at the undersides. They could see baby worms wriggling out of the soxx, and some already on the ground. We found 76% of the soxx with visible worm activity.

Christophe is very happy.

So are the trees.

Warm Regards,

Farmer Al

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