May 30, 2024

May 30, 2024

Fresh this week

Koy and her parents, San and Muang Saichow, were subsistence farmers in Thailand before moving to California. Koy’s grandparents were farmers too, farming on hillsides in Thailand. Koy says lots of Mien people farmed on hillsides – that’s why they call themselves the “mountain people.” Since settling on farmland in Petaluma in 2010, San and Muang have been growing some of the best-tasting strawberries in Sonoma County with the help of their daughter Koy. They grow both Chandlers and Albions. This week we’re featuring their Albion strawberries. Growing Albions hasn’t always been easy for them – the Chandlers have always done better for them – but right now, they are peaking, incredibly abundant, and soo flavorful! If you’ve had Stony Point strawberries before, you know they pick them perfectly ripe ripe! Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Stony Point Strawberry Farm in Petaluma.


We’re wrapping up the Southern California cherry season with GG1 cherries from Murray Family Farms. In past years, we’ve known this variety to produce gigantic cherries. This year, the crop yield is much lower and the cherries are smaller. What hasn’t changed is the flavor. They’re high in sugars and high in acid, making these juicy, dark cherries super delicious. The texture is reliably firm, too! Steven Murray calls these cherries “black gold”. If you’re a cherry lover, this is a pretty fun variety to try. Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Murray Family Farm in Bakersfield. 


Farmer Javier Zamora is known for his berries. Albion and Mara des Bois strawberries, ollalieberries, pink and gold raspberries, and on and on. But this is Javier’s first year growing Gaviota strawberries. We are loving them! His crew got through the first pick-through of the berries and now we’re onto the real good stuff. The thin skin of the berry, soft flesh, and susceptibility to bruising means this isn’t a commercially grown strawberry. Gaviotas are known to be low acid with high sugars and a deep crimson. But as these are just starting up, they have a bit of acid that amplifies the flavor in this early harvest. The delicate little achenes (seeds) on the Gaviotas are so small and soft, reminiscent of Chandlers. Store in the fridge. Grown organically by JSM Organics in Royal Oaks. 


We’re onto Coastal Moon’s last blueberry variety: San Joaquin blueberries. These are lighter in color with a heavier “bloom” on the berries. The frosty luster is a natural layer blueberries produce to protect against intense sun. These San Joaquin’s are bloomin’ real nice which means the Coastal Moon crew harvested them at the perfect time. These are so sweet and so flavorful! We’ve got until the end of June to enjoy this last variety. Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Coastal Moon Farm in Freedom.


These purple Pakistan mulberries from Habitera Farms are super juicy and taste like berry jam! We visited farmers Luis and Jorge right as the season was starting up to see how the orchard was looking. (This may be world-altering but yes, mulberries are botanically trees. They are often pruned and shaped into shrubs because, left to their own devices, they can get up to 60 feet tall!) These mulberries are a real labor of love. Jorge has five decades of experience working in tree fruit orchards, and his pruning and shaping of the trees is art. At harvest, nets are rolled through the orchard to catch the ripe fruit that falls as the crew shakes the tree’s branches. And then the post-harvest handling of these delicate little morsels requires even more care. Eat ’em quick. They won’t (and shouldn’t) last long. Store in the fridge. Grown sustainably by Habitera Farms in Brentwood. (Habitera will be fully CCOF certified organic at the end of 2025. For more on the transition to organics, read on.)


Spring Snow white peaches from Blossom Bluff Orchards are sweet with no acid! You can enjoy them crunchy now or let them soften on the counter a bit. Like most early peach varieties, the Spring Snow is a clingstone peach. It has great flavor and beautiful coloring on the skin. Quite honestly, I’m a yellow peach > white peach kinda person but there’s a place for a good white peach in my heart (and stomach) because I grew up with a family that exclusively ate white peaches. Store on the counter. Grown organically by Blossom Bluff Orchards in Parlier.


Encore appearances

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.

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. Because of the wet spring in 2023, the apricot/aprium trees at Blossom Bluff still have a lingering susceptibility to fungal rot. This can be prevented with conventional spraying but Blossom Bluff farms organically, and there aren’t many options that do the job. We recommend eating them quickly since they’re ripe or storing them in the fridge (instead of the counter, like other apricot/apriums). Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Blossom Bluff Orchards in Parlier.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

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