plums new and old
Cloverleaf Farm grows eight acres of some of the most delicious fruit just outside of Davis! They specialize in organic peaches, nectarines, apricots, and figs. Unfortunately, most of their peach and nectarine trees are suffering from peach leaf curl which has really put a dent in their crop this season. Additionally, the heavy late spring rains this year knocked many of the blossoms off their amazing apricots. Luckily, the figs are having a better year and they reached out to us when they had enough to share! We have a mixed basket of figs showcasing the fun varieties they grow: Desert King, Brown Turkey, Black Mission, Celestial and Tiger Striped. Sweet from the heat, picked super ripe, these jammy bags of figs are the best late August treat. Store these in the fridge and eat within a couple of days!
Fifteen miles west of Davis, Toby Hastings of Free Spirit Farm grows 6 acres of delicious fruits organically. This week, we’re featuring his delicious Honey Punch pluots (plum-apricot hybrid). Visually similar to Flavor Kings, these are super sweet and juicy with a hint of a mango aftertaste. We’re a discerning bunch, but Toby is one of those farmers who just does everything well. If he’s grown it, we know it’s good. (Compared to other plums and pluots, these form a denser coating of the naturally-occurring waxy bloom on its skin. Fun fact: the “wax bloom” helps protect the fruit from moisture loss!) Store on the counter or fridge.
Murray Family Farms grows these IFG 42 grapes organically in Bakersfield. The first time we had these a few years ago, on Steven Murray’s recommendation, they were described to us as “diamond shaped”. Wider at the stem and tapering at the tip, these aren’t just any normal green grape. This variety is a staff favorite at Murray Family Farms. Sweet with the classic green grape tang, these are super crisp and thin-skinned. A really easy and delicious afternoon snack, they’ll be gone before you know it. Store them in the fridge.
With melons and stone fruit and berries around, you are forgiven if you didn’t notice that the local apple season has started (and about 3 weeks late!) We’re not quite done with summer fruit either, but we know how quickly the varieties come and go so we try to savor them while they’re here. Stan Devoto grows some of the most delicious apples at Devoto Orchards in Sebastopol. We’ve got Gravensteins and Pink Pearls this week. The Gravensteins will keep getting sweeter as the season winds down in a couple of weeks, but they’ll keep the perfect tart background. Crisp and juicy, these are a lovable classic. The Pink Pearls’ tartness really packs a punch! We think of watermelon jolly ranchers? These beautiful pink-flesh tart apples have a denser bite, which holds up well to baking. Unlike many apple growers, Stan harvests his apples just the day before so they never see long-term cold storage. He harvests each variety as it’s ready, never storing them for too long, making them fresh as can be. We’re huge fans of Stan’s apples and don’t want to miss a moment of them. Enjoy these delicious varieties next to your melons, berries, and stone fruit. Store them in the fridge to keep them crisp!
Vince and Jenny of Kibo Farm grow 4 acres of delicious fruit and vegetables right outside of Santa Rosa on Sonoma Mountain. They grow with lots of intention and care for both the community and the land, and though they aren’t certified, they follow organic farming practices. Influenced by Vince’s stay in Japan and extensive travels around Asia, they grow many Asian fruits and vegetables alongside other specialty varieties. The Chamoe melon, also known as a Korean honey melon, is a crisp, sweet, and refreshing summer melon that is common in Korea as well as Japan and China. Kind of like a cucumber but with notes of honeydew and apple, these melons are pretty different from the European melon varieties we’ve been eating. You can choose to eat the thin skin or peel it off, and we recommend just gently scraping the seeds out with a fork because the pulp is the sweetest part of the melon.
These Greengage plums, also from Kibo Farm, come and go in a blink of an eye so we leapt at the chance to bring them in. This is a beloved, classic variety that needs to be shared. It’s difficult to grow because it requires more chill hours than other fruits, the harvest window is short, and they’re just too delicate to ship. They’re small, round, clingstone and GREEN, all attributes of plums that are not commercially desirable. But the flavor of these Greengages is unmatched. Their juicy sweetness can be as sweet as honey with syrup flavors that are simply magical. Enjoy these beautiful little morsels and store them on your counter.
These Kwanza raspberries from Yerena Farms are grown organically in Watsonville. They are floral, delicate, and meltingly delicious. We’re holding onto every bit of berry season for as long as we can, since summer is just *really* starting in the Bay. It’s been a tough year for our raspberry-growing friends due to the long winter rains. Many growers lost their raspberry plants and others will have a short season because they had to re-plant so late. We’re grateful Poli and Silvia Yerena have some raspberries to share with us. Store in the fridge.
We just can’t stop eating these Triple Crown blackberries from Front Porch Farm. Grown organically in Healdsburg, what can we say that we haven’t said? Plump, juicy, sweet and tart at the same time, they melt in your mouth; they are habit-forming. Their Prime-Ark blackberries should start up soon so we’ll move into those shortly. Enjoy these magnificent Triple Crowns, and store them in the fridge.