Fruit & News of the Week: February 27th


Tarocco Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
A beautiful orange to deep red flesh is revealed when you slice open a Tarocco. The flesh of the blood orange is firmer and more dense than an orange and its flavor is a little more tart. These beauties sweeten and darken in color as the season progresses.

Moro Blood Oranges
Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Moros have a deep red flesh and tart flavor with a rind that tends to blush into hues of red. The Moro is a wonderfull orange for juicing or cooking due to its bright flavor and color.

Navel Oranges
Olson Organics, Lindsay, 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. To read more about Ken Olson, please see previos blog post at

Fuji Apples
Cuyama Farm, New Cuyama, CA
Fujis are a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, an heirloom apple dating back to Thomas Jefferson. They are one of the sweetest variety apples around making them a household favorite.

Pink Lady Apples
Cuyama Farm, New Cuyama, CA
Pink Lady’s are a cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. They are a crisp and juicy apple with a tart finish. Pink skins and a creamy white colored flesh that resists browning make this an excellent apple for salads and slicing.

Hass Avocados
Bravocado, San Diego, 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
Sundance, San Diego, 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.

…all varieties are subject to change…


 Dear CSA Members,

Did any of you see the front-page story in the SF Chronicle on Tuesday, February 21st? “Storm Soaks Region, sends rivers surging” and “Systems Remain Focused on Dams”. Both great articles about California water issues, droughts and floods. This note will be a review of those articles; my goal is to keep you all aware of these issues, since water is the lifeblood of everything people do in California, not least of which is to grow food for our own consumption and for much of the nation too!

The dramatic reversal of weather in just a few short months, from drought to flood, brings into focus the fact that California is subject to extreme weather. And those extremes are predicted by scientists to become even more severe as climate change brings warmer temperatures to the west. Droughts will be longer and floods will be bigger. State planners and decision makers must move quickly to develop more water storage capacity, repair old structures and protect underground aquifers.

And of course there is a debate raging between scientists, engineers, hydrologists, water resource managers, and politicians about where and how to allocate the limited resources (money) available.

Dams are great for storage and for flood control. Until they break, and that is exactly what happens: during droughts, earthen dams dry up and crack. Then suddenly along comes an “atmospheric river” (I just love that phrase!) and they give way. There are 1400 dams in California, and all of them are subject to those aging issues and weather issues.

Environmental scientists favor a more natural approach, such as the Yolo bypass, a vast agricultural area between Sacramento and Davis which is only used in years like this one, when overflow from the Oroville Dam releases vast amounts of water which would put Sacramento under water if it couldn’t be diverted. The Yolo bypass is flat and big. Water gently spreads out and fills it up, providing temporary habitat for birds and fish, and recharging the important aquifirs of the San Joaquin Valley. The cost to build these “more natural” flood control systems is only a fraction of the cost to build dams. And the natural systems are less subject to aging and to weather extremes.

I’m not yet ready to give up on dams, but I definitely think we should explore all the options and implement those as soon as possible. Use every tool in the toolbox. And get federal funding. That’s where politics comes in

All of us need to be well educated on this issue and be politically active. Our food depends on it.

Farmer Al

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