July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Fresh this Week

If you ask Carine Hines what her favorite melon variety is, she refuses to say, as if you’re making her pick her favorite child; she loves them all equally. Yet year after year, Carine and Robert Hines insist on growing the Sivan Charentais melon. (And like all parents with a favorite, it’s pretty obvious in how she talks about it!) When the seed company screws up and sends them a different variety of Charentais – a mistake that only reveals itself once the plants are established – well, you’ll hear about it for months. (That was last year – oops!) This year, they have the genuine article. Among the various Charentais-type melons, Carine insists the Sivan is the best. Her standards were set as a kid, eating melon while visiting family in France. She’s opinionated and that’s honestly the best kind of melon farmer you can have. 


The Sivan has slight ribbing with a fine net across the skin. Inside, the deep orange flesh is aromatic and intoxicatingly sweet! They’re organically grown on fertile land, matured until they’re truly ripe, and harvested in the cool mornings before temps hike up to 110*F. It’s melon season! Carine and Robert of Sun Tracker Farm grow the best. Store in the fridge (because you must eat your melon chilled). Grown organically by Sun Tracker Farm in Guinda.


As you can tell, we tend to favor yellow peaches over white peaches. (If you’re a white peach lover, and you’ve felt deprived – let us know!) But when Babcock white peaches are ready, we get pretty excited. There’s a lot of new hybrid versions of white peaches out there these days and they taste fine and all, but some of the older varieties just tickle us a little more. Babcock white peaches are extremely delicate and fragile when ripe, so they must be picked slightly underripe, and need a day or two on the counter. These peaches have a showy red blush on the skin with creamy white flesh, and a freestone pit. Since its introduction in the early 1900s, Babcock white peaches really set the bar high for white peaches that came after that. It’s no wonder because it’s a cross of two extremely sought-after varieties: Strawberry white peaches and Peentau donut peaches, both sweet and juicy with aromatic flesh. Store these on the counter. Grown organically by Free Spirit Farm in Winters.


In the height of summer, there are so many delicious pluot varieties out there that it can be hard to choose (we added this box to help solve this!) It’s also kind of easy to get lost in the sauce with pluot varieties because there is a head-spinning selection, with fantastical names, but *most* of them are just delicious. This week, Toby has four varieties of pluots really poppin’ off and we decided on the Splash pluots. Splash pluots have yellow skin with a faint blush. It is slightly heart-shaped and has a punch of plummy sweet-tart flavor. All you ever hear is that these “score high in taste-tests”. Whatever that means for Dave Wilson Nursery and the fruit breeding world (jk), we’re aligned that the Splash pluots are a winner. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Free Spirit Farm in Winters.


It’s been a delicious blueberry season with our friends at Coastal Moon Farm. Time flies when you’re eating something delicious, doesn’t it? We started off with the beloved Snowchasers in mid-March and now we’re relishing the last of the San Joaquin blueberries. Farmer Darren took a trip to Spain back in April to taste some new blueberry varieties that might do well in our climate. He taste-tested SO many varieties. The breeder, knowing exactly what he was doing, saved the best for last. If that last one STILL tasted good after overloading his palate – then it’s a winner! Indeed, it was. So while this is the final week of Coastal Moon blues, there is more exciting blueberry news in the year to come. Savor the last of them! Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Coastal Moon Farm in Freedom.

The Mara des Bois strawberry is a whimsical little berry, looking as if it rolled out of the pages of a children’s book. It’s intensely perfumed, even when ripened to an orangey red hue. Maras are a French hybrid, so named for their “wild” strawberry flavor, but to my palate they taste as much like grape candy as anything you might find in a forest! These are very delicate and highly perishable, so store in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days. Grown organically by JSM Organics in Royal Oaks.


Encore Appearances

We expected that Masumoto Family Farm’s next peach variety, the Suncrest, would not be ready for another week, their ripening slowed by the heatwave. And we thought last week was going to be the final harvest of Flavor Crest yellow peaches. A peachless week! But while the crew was in the field checking on the Suncrests, they spotted a pocket of trees on the far side of the orchard fully loaded with Flavor Crest peaches just waiting to be picked! The stars aligned. Nikiko called us at the eleventh hour with news of ripe peaches this week. Though we want the next variety to line up perfectly week to week and ripen on our schedule, this reminds us of our deep appreciation for the Masumoto family’s commitment to harvesting peaches when they are truly ripe. Also, we’re grateful for all the days they brave the 100 degree-plus heat and all the challenges that come with it to get us the most delicious peaches. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Masumoto Family Farm in Del Rey.

Toby Hastings from Free Spirit Farm started harvesting his Osage blackberries a few weeks ago and boy, has it been a delicious few weeks! These plump and juicy berries have a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s unmatched. Temps are pushing 100F in Winters these days, but Toby’s trellising technique is next level cool! The trellis pivots at the base, allowing him to angle his blackberry plants from vertical to horizontal, and points in between. It means that he can optimize for the perfect angle to provide the blackberries a little much-need shade, protecting them from sun damage. Read more about it in an email here we sent out yesterday. Enjoy the blackberries – if they’ve made it this far! Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Free Spirit Farm in Winters.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.