Fruit & News of the Week: January 23rd


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.

Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA
Most commonly cultivated in Asia and the Middle East, the kumquat is shaped like a much smaller, more oval orange and is hardier than its citrus kin. Kumquats are generally eaten whole out of hand. The outer, sweet rind is edible and offers a contrast to the tangy, inner flesh. The fruit is also often candied or preserved in salt or sugar.

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

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.

…all varieties are subject to change…


Dear CSA Members,

The first question I get asked these days by everyone I talk to is: “How is all this rain affecting the farm?” My answer is two-fold:

First the good part:

  • The rain is good for the soil. Lots of moisture deep into the root zone and beyond means we may not have to irrigate well into April, saving thousands of dollars. (Our water costs have tripled since the drought started!)
  • All the amendments, like oyster shell lime and compost that we applied in the Fall will be well-incorporated into the soil by all this rain.
  • This rain insures good germination of the cover crop seed that we planted in Fall. Cover crops provide multiple benefits to the soil:
    • They provide organic matter
    • They provide Bee habitat
    • Root penetration of cover crops into soil provide aeration, and improve water holding capacity.
    • They keep erosion under control. (We have zero erosion here on Frog Hollow Farm!)

The not-so-good part:

  • This rain puts us way behind on our pruning.
  • It could put us behind on planting trees since we can’t plant until the ground dries out. February is the best month to plant trees, so hopefully the rain will stop now!
  • The rain is a big risk factor for brown-rot disease, especially in late February on the apricots
  • The rain makes doing Farmer’s markets and deliveries difficult.

Here on the farm our normal annual rain fall is 12”. Right now we ‘re already up to 10” and we still have February and March, which are usually the wettest months. So it looks like we’ll be way ahead of average by the time April rolls around. It’s what we’ve been hoping for!



Farmer Al



Posted in Newsletter Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

  • Recipe: Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

    Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
    via Martha Stewart

    6 bone-in pork chops (loin or shoulder), cut 3/4 inch thick
    Coarse salt and fres…

  • Farm Focus: The Buzz with Bees

    Spring is synonymous with blooming flowers and where there are blooming flowers there are bees! And while most people think  of European honey bees, we  w…

  • Fruit & News of the Week: April 9, 2018

    This Week’s Fruit:
    Minneloa Tangelos
    Twin Girls Farm, Dinuba, CA
    The Tangelo is a cross between a mandarin and grapefruit. Its skin is easy to peel and its f…

  • Recipe: DIY Orange Soda

    Via Food52


    4 oranges
    1 lime
    1 cup granulated sugar
    Lemon lime seltzer water


    Zest the oranges and the lime and add all o…

  • Farm Focus: Jim Churchill of Churchill-Brenneis Orchard

    Jim of Churchill-Brenneis Orchard, never imagined himself becoming a farmer, though he grew up walking through friends orchards on weekend trips from LA. His pa…