May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024

Fresh this week

It’s so special to enjoy avocados from one farm, directly sourced, all season long. Each week, farmer Jay and his crew have been harvesting from new blocks of their five acre grove for the best-tasting Hass avocados. This approach means the avocados get creamier as the season progresses. It’s easier for an avocado grower to send their entire crop (large and small) to a packer and shipper, and most do. They can harvest a bunch of avos directly into 700-pound bins – all sizes, all types of quality – and clear the trees in a few big harvests. The packers can take all the fruit, but at a price we feel is insulting to farmers. The pack houses aggregate, wash, size, sort, pack, and sell avocados under one big label – done deal. But what we love is that we can taste the transformation week to week of freshly-harvested avos that ripen up consistently to be the most flavorful, creamy, high oil-content avos we’ve ever had. We’re entering peak peak CA avo season and the slow-ripening Hass grown on the coast of Santa Barbara sure is special. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Condor Ridge Ranch in Goleta.


Murray Family Farms is often one of the first farms with organic cherries in California and Arvin Glenn cherries are usually one of the first varieties on the scene. This year, their new OB1 variety stole the show and was ready first. That means the Arvin Glenns have had some time to fully ripen up and are now deeply ruby red and delicious. They have a great balance of sweet and tart. (Some folks are getting OB1s because of a cherry snafu – fruit is fickle and sometimes the logistics don’t pan out!) Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Murray Family Farm in Bakersfield. 


Bryce Loewen is a 4th-generation farmer at Blossom Bluff Orchards. The Honey Rich apriums are one of his favorite varieties. They grow over 200 varieties of fruit so that’s saying something! It’s a cross between an apricot and a plum, but more ‘cot than plum. (A pluot is the opposite!) Even when the texture is still firm, the flavor is sweet like honey! It’s juicy, sweet, and has a beautiful red blush. You can leave it on the counter to soften up a bit, if that’s what you prefer. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Blossom Bluff Orchards in Parlier.


Last week, we brought in Albion strawberries from Dirty Girl Produce. This week, we’re headed up the coast a bit for Albions from Blue House Farm which has parcels in San Gregorio and Pescadero. Albion is the commercially-preferred variety: it’s reliable in production and yield, holds up better to transport because of its firmer texture, and is most commonly found in markets. They’re widely-grown throughout California but it’s a relatively new variety released in just 2006. Blue House farms over 100 acres all year long. For them, it’s important to have a reliable variety like the Albion that’s more disease resistant, heat tolerant, reliably sweet, and produces over a long season to complement the amazing diversity of crops they grow (tomatoes, greens, herbs, cut-flowers, beans - just to name a few!) Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Blue House Farm in Pescadero and San Gregorio. 

We’re appreciative of the cherimoya flavor ride we’ve been on the last few months as we come to a close on the season. This magnificent tropical fruit graced our taste buds through a long citrus winter. Farmer Jay and his crew will wrap up with one last harvest of Booth cherimoya for us before the trees rest for another cycle of blooms in August. Cherimoya are one of the most labor-intensive fruits to grow in California. Each flower has to be hand-pollinated in the fall to produce the beautiful cherimoya we get to enjoy in the winter and spring. This late into the season, cherimoya will ripen quickly; yours is probably 1-2 days out from being ready. Once the cherimoya yields to gentle pressure, scoop out the flesh and dodge the seeds for the best banana/pineapple combo you’ve ever had. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Condor Ridge Ranch in Goleta.

Encore appearances

Terra Firma Farm’s red grapefruit is something we anticipate all year long, even as the citrus season begins to feel like a slog. They only begin to harvest their Ruby Red grapefruit in April. It’s a special late-season grapefruit; a class of its own! By late spring, it’s deliciously sweet-tart, super juicy, and full of flavor flavor flavor! Store on the counter. Grown organically by Terra Firma Farm in Winters.

The season has now started up in most blueberry-growing regions of California so blues are all over the markets. Jewel blues are super sweet with very little acid, and the flavor is incredibly delicious. Coastal Moon has fewer Jewel plants which makes it a shorter harvest than their other varieties. This ephemerality makes them taste even better. It’s dangerously easy to eat these by the handful. Is there such a thing as eating too many blues? Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Coastal Moon in Freedom.

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