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Archive for May, 2013

Blueberries

If you have ever tried Forbidden Fruit Orchards blueberries from Earl’s you know they are packed with flavor.  The good news is that today we received our first shipment of the year of plump, sweet Forbidden blueberries!  Over the years Earl’s has had Forbidden blueberries as early as March but the reality is that blueberries are completely dependent on the weather. According to Sandi Davis, the grower, “it was a very cold winter and the blueberries were very late in ripening. The blueberries didn’t get enough heat to ripen up and we barely had enough fruit in March and April to bring to the local farmers market.”

For the full blog click here!

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Peaches anyone?

The much awaited stone fruit season is here! The Super Rich yellow peach variety from Burkart Orchards is now on Earl’s list.  Burkart Orchards is located near Dinuba along the northern border of Tulare County about 4 hours south of San Francisco.

The Super Rich is an early sweet cling variety which means the fruit “clings” to the pit unlike a freestone peach where the fruit falls away easily from the pit.  Each week we can look forward to a wide variety of sweet and juicy yellow and white peaches and nectarines arriving at Earl’s.

Burkart peaches

Look for fruit free from bruising and wrinkles and make sure the area around the stem is not green. We are always saying it is good to build a relationship with your fruit.  Pick the peach up and smell the fruit, it should have an aromatic smell.  Ask your produce person for a taste so you know exactly what you are getting. We have all bought peaches that just don’t have that flavor you expect when you bite into it. Chances are that it was picked before it was mature.

If you don’t plan to eat all of your peaches at the same time buy only a few and experiment with eating them on different days.  Peaches do not ripen much after picking but you can leave your peaches out on the counter for 2-3 days to soften up. We recommend placing them on a cotton or linen towel so the fruit can breathe.  Peaches should yield to gentle pressure when they are ripe. At what point does the peach you bought taste perfectly sweet and ripe to you?

You can expect to see yellow nectarines and white peaches by the end of this week.  Stay tuned for updates and post your favorite summer stone fruit recipes on our Facebook wall.

Pallet of Burkart Peaches

Pallet of Burkart Peaches

Helicopters Used On California Cherry Orchards

Wet weather is never good for cherries. The rain and wind can cause the cherries to split or crack and then that part of the crop is lost.  The cherries dangle together in groups of 2 to 6 pieces of fruit and the wind can cause them to bang up against each other, causing bruising on the shoulders of the fruit, the area near the stem. Rain earlier this week down in the Stockton area caused big concerns among growers as they are about to harvest their first California cherries of the season.

One of the methods used to dry out the cherries is to hire a helicopter after the rain to blow air on the cherries, taking about 5 minutes for every acre.  This is a very expensive option and can cost up to $500 an hour. Some growers used helicopters this past Tuesday to dry out their orchards in Stockton.  We can look forward to receiving Chelan cherries as early as next Monday or Tuesday. Chelans are an early ripening sweet cherry similar to Bings in deep red color and shape. Check back for postings and photos as soon as the Chelans arrive at Earl’s.

 

Chelan Cherry Tree

Chelan Cherry Tree

Strawberry Update

Here is a quick update on what is going on in the strawberry world.  This is a unique time of year where production is ending in Baja California, and continuing in the Southern California areas such as Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria while at the same time transitioning up north to Salinas and Watsonville.  The hot temperatures down south will dictate how long the strawberries will continue to be grown in areas like Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.  Eventually all the strawberries will be coming out of the cooler central coast areas of Salinas and Watsonville until the end of the season, which is usually November or December depending on the weather, think cold and wet. The hot temperatures down south plus the gap time while transitioning hasn’t affected the supply of strawberries at Earl’s.

straw cropped clamshell

 

california-missions-map

Forbidden Blueberries are back!

If you have ever tried Forbidden Fruit Orchards blueberries from Earl’s you know they are packed with flavor.  The good news is that today we received our first shipment of the year of plump, sweet Forbidden blueberries!  Over the years Earl’s has had Forbidden blueberries as early as March but the reality is that blueberries are completely dependent on the weather. According to Sandi Davis, the grower, “it was a very cold winter and the blueberries were very late in ripening. The blueberries didn’t get enough heat to ripen up and we barely had enough fruit in March and April to bring to the local farmers market.”

Forbidden Fruit Orchards is located in Lompoc, CA and Sandi has been growing blueberries since 2002.  She now has over 14,000 blueberry bushes on her 6 acre property.  She protects her blueberries from birds by growing them in hoop houses covered with nets. Her farm is located about 15 miles from the ocean in Pinot Noir country in Northern Santa Barbara County. The soil is very sandy providing excellent drainage and the ability to grow just about anything.  Every year the supply and volume is different so don’t miss out while Earl’s has them. Historically Forbidden Fruit will be done shipping blueberries to Earl’s by the 4th of July.

Forbidden Fruit Orchards has a new label this year.  The orchard trees at the top, the fresh and clean design and the bright colors were designed to bring people closer to the farm to table concept and to express the intense flavor of the blueberries. Forbidden Fruit will also be launching a new redesigned website this July complete with weekly blogs about blueberries and what is going on in the world of blueberries. We will be sure to update you when the launch is official. In the meantime toss some Forbidden blueberries on your yogurt, mix them in smoothie or pop a handful in your mouth as is. The flavor can’t be beat!

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