Fruit & News of the Week: January 16th


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.

Hayward Kiwis
Chiechi Farm, Live Oak, CA
Originally known as the Chinese gooseberry due to its Chinese origins. Hawyward Wright, a New Zealand nurseryman propagated his plants by grafting, and they eventually became the preferred cultivar of growers due to their sweet flavor and thin skin.

Navel Oranges
Twin Girls Farm, Yettem, 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 the fine folks at Twin Girls Farm please see a previous blog post at

Clementine Mandarins
Homegrown Organic Farm, Porterville, CA
Clementines are very sweet, juicy, easy to peel, and usually seedless, making them very popular with children and adults alike. Store out of sunlight for 2-4 days on the counter or up to two weeks in the fridge. 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.

Fuerte Avocados
Eco Farm, Temecula, CA
A California variety prized by specialty growers for it’s ability to withstand freezing and was aptly named “Fuerte” or strong in Spanish. It has a smooth, thin, grass green skin with pale green flesh. Fuerte are less oily than a Hass, but are rich and nutty in flavor.

…all varieties are subject to change…


CSA Members,

Not much was happening out in the orchards this last week due to the storms. The ground in the orchards is soggy, so even as the rain subsides, then ceases, we wait until it’s dry enough…for several reasons.

1. The main activity this time of year is pruning, and working on ladders would be slippery and dangerous.

2. The muddy ground would really slow down the work, driving up costs.

3. Most importantly, we don’t want to compact the soil. Men working on muddy ground is one of the worst things you can do to your soil.

Soil compaction is something I’m concerned with all year, and avoiding compaction is critical. Compaction on our soils is of particular concern because we have heavy clay loam soil which compacts easily when wet or even damp.

Compaction means poor water penetration, poor water holding capacity, poor aeration, and poor nutrient cycling. It’s really bad for microbe activity as well.

So, while the rains have put us way behind on our pruning work, we are very happy to have them. The ominous shadow of the draught which has loomed over California farmers, seems to be gone, at least for this coming year.

The rain is great for the soil, washing away accumulations, and filling up the soil with moisture for the 2017 growing season.

2017 is looking good…


Farmer Al

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