WEEKLY SPECIALS | SEASONAL CALENDAR | GROWER MAP

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California Cherries

California cherries season has started. The fruit is sweet with a beautiful deep red color. California has a combination of nutrient-rich soil, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures, producing sweet fruit. We expect the California season to be shorter than usual due to the heavy rains we had this spring so don’t miss out!

Cherries resized twitter design

Rhubarb

Beautiful red stalks of rhubarb have arrived at Earl’s signaling the beginning of spring. Often thought of as a fruit, rhubarb is actually a vegetable.

How to buy
Look for bright red stalks which have a sweet rich flavor. The size of the stalk is not an indicator of tenderness!

Fun Fact

Rhubarb is 95% water and high in potassium and vitamin c.

Storage and Cooking
Wrap loosely in plastic and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Do not keep for more than a few days or it will start to dry out. Place the stalks in cold water for about an hour to refresh them before cooking.

Rhubarb is very tart and acidic and will make your mouth pucker up if you eat it out of hand. Just add honey or sugar to transform it into a delicious dessert or savory dish. We like pairing rhubarb with strawberries in a pie or making a compote to top yogurt or vanilla ice cream. My favorite recipe is a refreshing rhubarb shake topped with chopped pistachios.

Rhubarb Shake

Gold Nuggets

Gold Nugget Mandarins have bumpy skin, are very aromatic and are easy to peel. Fruit is seedless with a rich and sweet flavor. Season starts in San Diego County,overlaps and finishes in the foothills of Fresno County.

Gold Nugget Variety of slices

Nagami Kumquats

One of my favorite fruits this winter is the versatile tiny Kumquat.  It is unique in its size, averaging about an inch long and in its flavor, where the sweetness comes from the rind instead of the flesh You don’t have to peel them and they are small enough to pop in your mouth.  I also love to slice them up and mix them in a salad, salsa or a smoothie.

The oval shaped Nagami is the most commonly sold with a sweet rind and very tart flesh.  You are in for a powerful sensory experience as the ZING of the sourness hits your taste buds and your mouth puckers up.

Moro Blood Oranges

Moro Blood Oranges from Fruit World in Reedley, CA in the Central San Joaquin Valley are just a few of the wonderful types of citrus in season.   The red flesh of the Blood Orange varies in intensity depending on the variety, location where the trees are grown and the degree of fruit maturity. Brought to America in the 1930’s by Italian and Spanish immigrants they are now grown commercially in Southern California, Texas and Florida. Hot days and cold nights are needed to bring out the best flavors in blood oranges.

Blood orange rounds and slices

Satsuma Mandarins



Satsumas have a loose peel that slips off effortlessly like a glove, with no mess and no seeds to deal with.  Satsumas are a perfect snack size that you can eat anywhere without the difficult peeling and complication that comes with eating a valencia or navel orange.

Health Benefits:

A 2008 U.S. Department of Agriculture study said Satsumas have six to seven times as much synephrine, a natural decongestant, as other citrus. Four or five Satsumas have enough synephrine to equal the effect of a Sudafed tablet, the study said. Satsumas are also naturally low in calories and a single fruit contains 34 percent of the USDA daily recommendation for vitamin C.

Buying Satsumas:

Look for fruit with an aromatic smell, firm tight peel, no dented spots and a heavier fruit means they are juicier. They can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but not for too long because prolonged storage can dry them out.



Two Main Varieties of Persimmons

Hachiyas and Fuyus are the two main commercial varieties of persimmons in the United States and are eaten very differently.  Hachiyas are tapered and shaped like an acorn. If you accidentally tried a piece of Hachiya before it was completely jelly soft, the astringency and bitterness would leave a fuzzy taste in your mouth. Hachiyas need to be fully ripened until they are almost translucent and EXTREMELY soft. If you think any part of the fruit is still firm you need to wait. Cut a ripe Hachiya in half and scoop out the delicious fruit or use the pulp in cakes, cookies and muffins.

Fuyu’s are short, squat and non-astrigent and when ripe they have a sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and apricot.   You can eat them raw when they are firm or soft and they do not need to be peeled.  Fuyu’s can be eaten like an apple, cut up and eaten on their own or great in a salad.

Fuyu persimmon (1)

Califoria Keitt Mangos

Fragrant California Keitt mangos from Coachella Valley in Southern California are one of Earl’s employee’s favorite mangos.  They are super juicy and sweet with almost no stringy fibers and a smaller pit than other mangos which means more flesh to eat.

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The Second Crop of Figs is the Sweetest

Maywood Farms organic figs are grown in Corning, about 2 hours northwest of Sacramento. Figs love the heat and are always picked ripe. Varieties include Kadota, Adriatic, Brown Turkey and Black Mission. 

 

First U.S. Grown Fair Trade Certified Stone Fruit

Homegrown Organic Farms is proud to represent the first-ever, US-grown Fair Trade Certified stone fruit; grown by none other than Vernon Peterson. Vernon and his family have been farming for over 30 years in Kingsburg in the central San Joaquin Valley.  For Vern, being a part of the Fair Trade movement goes beyond price, beyond organic, and has become about people and the communities surrounding farms that grow the fruit consumers enjoy.

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