Can you believe you can eat delicious California blueberries in November?! Experimenting two decades ago, Sandra Newman of Forbidden Fruit Orchards planted blueberries on a couple of acres 12 miles east of the ocean on the Central Coast. The southern-facing slope was protected from frost and she wanted to see if the blueberry plants would stay evergreen and not go dormant during the winter. They did just that, producing delicious off-season blueberries. She has since added additional acreage, which means a bountiful Fall blueberry crop that we eagerly await every year. The berries hang on the plants for so long, making the flavor of these blueberries incredible. Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Lompoc.
There are few small kiwi growers out there. Kiwis require a lot of planning and prepping before the vines actually fruit. For pollination, both male and female plants need to be planted for fruit production and it can take up to five years before the vines start bearing fruit. But Tom and Donna White planted 5 acres of Hayward kiwi vines all the way back in 1980 and have been doing it ever since. At the time, Donna was coaching the Butte College softball team and hired them to do the planting! Like avocados, kiwis are picked firm and ripen off the plant. Most commercial kiwis are picked early, before the sugars have fully developed, and pass through a large packing shed where they are gassed with ethylene to initiate ripening. Tom doesn't harvest until his kiwis develop more sweetness and that’s why we’re stoked to bring these in. Store these on the counter. Grown organically in Gridley.
Arkansas Black apples are great storage apples. Over time, they get sweeter and the crimson skin deepens to nearly black. But we like to eat them fresh! They’re a dense apple with a good crunch, and when eaten fresh they have notes of cider and a refreshing tartness that we love. We think it’s a special variety because it’s so unique. Some apples are great eating out of hand and some are better sliced. Arkansas Black apples really shine when you thinly slice them to enjoy, ideally straight out of the fridge. Stan Devoto picks his apples just a day before delivering to us, an unheard-of practice in an industry based on long-term cold storage, so enjoy those cider-y nuances you only get fresh! Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
Our friends at Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley planted 40 feijoa trees about 10 years ago. Unlike the feijoas grown on the misty Central Coast, these don’t have the bitter tannic skin that we usually avoid by scooping out the inner pulp. Instead, we find the skin a bit thinner than others and we like to eat the whole thing! Also known as pineapple guavas, they are reminiscent of true guavas, a bit like kiwi and a bit like pineapple. They are fruity and tart and super fun to eat. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Guinda.
With butterscotch and rum notes, these delicious Chojuro Asian pears are so sweet, juicy, crisp, and ultra refreshing. We find ourselves craving these Chojuro pears as the season winds down. EARTHseed Farm is nearing the end of their Asian pear season and they’re moving into persimmons. We’re bringing in their first Fuyu persimmon harvest. These flat and (mostly) seedless persimmons are the non-astringent variety which means you can eat them crisp like an apple, or wait until they get softer and more jelly-like on the counter. Either way, persimmon season has started up in Sonoma county and we’re eating persimmons in fall salads, in yogurt, and fresh out of hand. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
Pink Lady apples have entered the canon of Commercially Successful Apples alongside Fujis, Galas, and Honeycrisps [Editor’s note: the difference between pink ladies and the rest is that they’re widely available and actually reliably delicious!] We especially love Filigreen Farm’s Pink Lady apples. Grown in beautiful Boonville, these are sterling examples of what the high-sugar/high-acid, crispy, and juicy variety should be. Bonus points: Filigreen’s tend to lean more on the tart side, which we love. And the flavor of Filigreen’s Pink Lady apples are just so much more dynamic than ones you’d find commercially. Store in the fridge to maintain crispness. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.