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Archive for September, 2014

Hurricane Odile Hits Baja California Sur

Hurricane Odile, a category 3 storm, landed Sunday night September 14 near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Odile is the strongest hurricane to land in Baja California Sur since Hurricane Olivia in 1967 with winds over 125 mph. The southern area of Baja California was hit the hardest with strong winds and heavy rains. It is estimated that 92% of the population was left without power or water.

Odile caused mass flooding and damaged major infrastructure impacting many growers and causing numerous production and logistical issues.  Many main roads were submerged under flash flooding and greenhouses and other farm structures were damaged. Although is still too early to know exactly how this will affect supply over the next few months, we have seen a delay in the start of organic asparagus out of Baja California Sur.  Our first asparagus shipment is now scheduled to arrive next week and we can expect supply to be very limited and expensive right off the bat.

Growers are asking for your understanding as they work through this difficult time. As of yesterday Baja California Sur had 95% of their power and most of their water restored.  The rest of the Los Cabos area is expected to be operating normally by next week.  We will continue to update you as we know more.

Rider And Sons Jonagold Apple Is Simply The Best

If you want the best tasting Jonagold apple, look no further than Rider and Sons 5th generation apple orchardists. Rider is located in the small town of Freedom, along the Central Coast of California near Watsonville.  Jim Rider is in charge of the fields and his brother Dick Rider oversees the packing shed.  Their grandfather Homer was one of the pioneer fruit growers in the Watsonville area along the Central Coast in California.

Rider and Sons is the only California grower we know that picks the Jonagold apple at its optimum maturity and flavor. The best tasting Jonagold will have developed a beautiful golden background before it is picked. This means it has been on the tree longer and has more flavor. Jim Rider says the apples are ready to be harvested when “they have a hint of yellow in the background color.”  Most growers pick it too early when the background is green and the flavor has not developed. This has been our experience of the Pacific Northwest Jonagold.

Jonagold (7)

The Watsonville area has a unique microclimate with cooler summer weather similar to San Francisco. This allows them to grow better quality apples and harvest closer to peak maturity more than warmer climates. Jonagolds require special care and attention and are selectively picked riper than most areas could. The fruit ripens slower in the cooler climate and develops the complex flavor components that can be lost with higher temperatures. Rider’s philosophy is to get them off the tree, picked and packed within a day or two and shipped immediately to be sold quickly at optimum maturity. Rider’s workers are trained to pick slowly with an eye for detail and will pick the orchard several times in order to deliver a riper, sweet and better tasting fruit. Their goal is not to store it for months and months.

Jim Rider calls Watsonville the Napa valley of apple growing areas. The apples have a more intense flavor and better quality because of the cooler temperatures. Click here for an interview with Jim Rider in the Jonagold orchards.  In our own history as the apple season goes up to the Pacific North West, the flavor and quality of the Jonagold is not duplicated. Enjoy California apples during the short but sweet season.

Kiwi Berries

If you like Kiwi’s then you will fall in love with the Kiwi Berry. Kiwi Berries taste exactly like a Kiwi but they are the size of a grape, fuzzless and completely edible.  Cut one in half and the inside flesh looks just like a Kiwi. This no mess snack is fun to eat and perfect for the whole family.

How to eat – Just pop them in your mouth! 

Click here for the full blog

Kiwi Berry photo grid

 

Kiwi Berries Are The Perfect Snack

If you like Kiwi’s then you will fall in love with the Kiwi Berry. Kiwi Berries taste exactly like a Kiwi but they are the size of a grape, fuzzless and completely edible.  Cut one in half and the inside flesh looks just like a Kiwi. This no mess snack is fun to eat and perfect for the whole family.

How to eat – Just pop them in your mouth! 

Kiwi Berries are also known as the hardy kiwi, arctic kiwi or baby kiwi. Kiwi berries are a member of the Actinidia genus family, the same as a regular kiwi and have been described as a cousin of the kiwi we all know.  Kiwi berries are native to China, Korea, and Russian Siberia, much like the kiwifruit. It is a fast-growing, hardy, perennial vine, in need of a frost-free season of 150 days. Each vine can grow up to 20 feet in a single season! Because of their seasonal requirements, they are well suited for areas of the North East and North West, and in fact, have become somewhat of an invasive weed in certain areas because of their rapid growth. One plant can produce up to 100 pounds of fruit a year! The fruits are picked hard, and ripen off the vine.  Earl’s kiwi berries are grown in Wilsonville, Oregon about 30 minutes south of Portland.

Kiwi Berry photo grid

 

Storage tips:

Store them in the fridge if you are not planning to eat them right away and take out small bunches at a time to ripen on your counter. Similar to a kiwi they will be slightly acidic until ripe when they will be very sweet. Eat them when they are soft and the flesh yields a bit. In this case a small amount of wrinkling is good!  Don’t be fooled into thinking your Kiwi Berries are old, when in fact they will have developed the perfect amount of sweetness.

Kiwi Berries are packed full of nutrition, containing over 20 nutrients. They are incredibly rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, fiber and folic acid and have 5 times the Vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than bananas.  Kiwi Berries can be used in a variety of ways, from being preserved as jam to being used as a marinade (they are an excellent meat tenderizer). Try them in a salad, on a tart, or out of hand. Any way you look at it they are delicious.

The season lasts only about a month, from the beginning of September to the beginning of October so don’t miss out.

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