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.

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.

Breba Fig Crop Starts Up

We are starting to see the first of the California breba fig crop rolling in, also known as the first crop. The breba crop grows on last year’s tree shoots and harvest is usually around the end of May or beginning of June.  The breba crop lasts for a few weeks and hasn’t yet developed the honey sweetness we associate with figs.  We will experience a short gap before the second, more flavorful crop starts up in July. The first land of Black Mission Figs is coming from Madera in the central San Joaquin Valley.

Stone Fruit Season Is Here

Peach and nectarine season has begun!  Generally speaking we start seeing peaches around May 1st and the season can continue into September. We can look forward to the many varieties changing about every 1 to 2 weeks. The only difference between peaches and nectarines is that peaches are covered in a light fuzz.

California Asparagus

The height of the asparagus season in California runs from March to June.  California asparagus is mainly grown at the confluence of California’s two greatest rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, in the rich peat of the delta lands an hour south of Sacramento and in the Salinas Valley about 2 hours south of San Francisco. California produces over 70 percent of the nation’s fresh market asparagus.

Shaved asparagus makes a delicious topping for pizza!
Shaved asparagus makes a delicious topping for pizza!

When you’re ready to eat them, snap or cut off the white portion of the butt end of the asparagus. They’re perfect coated with olive oil and roasted, which leaves them firmer, nuttier and sweeter than steaming.  Asparagus is high vitamin C and K and folic acid and contain less than 50 calories per 6 oz serving.  Click here for more recipes.

Cherimoyas

Cherimoyas can grow as small as ¼ pound each up to 5 pounds and are a conical or heart shaped green fruit covered in bumps.  The flesh is white and creamy and dotted with big black seeds.  Depending on the variety, they are mellow sweet to tangy or acidic sweet with suggestions of mangos, pineapples, banana, papaya, strawberries and vanilla custard but honestly I can’t compare it to anything else.  Mark Twain called the cherimoya “deliciousness itself.” The season runs from March to June with the peak time in March and April. Cherimoya’s are grown in California from Santa Barbara all the way down to San Diego.

Honey Mandarins

Honey mandarins are small sized with a bright orange rind. They are very sweet and juicy and contain many seeds. Grown in San Diego County.

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