a couple October surprises
We’re so fortunate to have access to the most amazing grapes grown up and down California. We’ve moved up north to our friends at Filigreen Farm who do a stellar job of growing the most delicious table grapes! These Orange Muscat grapes are one of our absolute favorites (wait, do we say that about every grape?!) They’re thin-skinned, near-seedless, and beautifully translucent. This white grape variety has luscious pink-orange hues throughout and all the sweet muscat flavor plus a hint of orange-blossom aroma. We love the orange-y acid we get from these grapes to round out the flavor. These are so special and delicate with a super short season, so savor them! Store in the fridge. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.
There are soooo many beautifully delicious pears out there but when we hear that Filigreen is harvesting Comice pears, we drop everything to get our hands on them. Eating a Comice makes us forget that we used to swoon over summer fruit. These pears are beautiful russeted green pears with the occasional red blush. When ripe, they are extremely aromatic, succulent, and oh so sweet. The buttery texture will make you want to close your eyes as you enjoy the pears. We’ve even asked Filigreen to grow more because we love them so much. They do an amazing job with them and pick’em perfectly. Store these on your counter. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.
Stan Devoto’s Mutsu apples are one of our fave apples at Devoto Orchards. We love all the apple varieties Stan grows but we admit we wait all year for the Mutsus to come in so we can stock up! They’re crisp and juicy, and the early season tartness gives way to a bit more sweetness over the couple weeks they’re harvested. The skin is smooth with a touch of russeting at the top. They’re just the most delicious eating apple! Stan is the OG apple man who knows when apples should be harvested. (If you’ve experienced a chalky Mutsu, it was probably picked underripe.) Enjoy our fave apples! Store them in the fridge to maintain crispiness. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
Our friends at Full Belly Farm grow so many delicious fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, grains, and more on their 400 acre farm in Guinda. They incorporate animals like chickens, goats, sheep, and cows into their farming practices as environmental stewards both for the land and for their community. They are one of the farms that paved the way for organic farming in Northern California in the ‘80s. They’re also one of the few farms growing Li jujubes organically and picking them ripe-ripe, where the skin is red-brown all over. These little jujubes can be eaten fresh as-is or dried. They’re sweet with a crisp and sponge-y flesh surrounding a tiny pit. The more brown and wrinkly they get, the sweeter they are. Store them in the fridge. Grown organically in Guinda.
Stone fruits won’t be around for much longer but prune plums tend to hang on the trees later into the season. Full Belly Farm is also growing these French Prune plums, which they call “Sugar Plums”, and they are indeed sweet and addictive. Their dense, almost syrupy flesh is wrapped tightly around a long narrow pit. These prune plums always find a place alongside our fall fruits and we’re not mad about it. Grown organically in Guinda.
It’s October, the light is changing, the nights are getting cooler, and the persimmons are ready for harvest. Free Spirit Farm’s Coffee Cake persimmons are a sure sign the seasons are changing. Similar to a Fuyu (though it ripens weeks earlier), the Coffee Cake persimmon can be eaten firm and crunchy – no astringency! It’s rich and sweet with beautiful speckly-brown flesh. We love the complexity of flavor that deepens throughout the season. Keep these on your counter. Grown organically in Winters.
Chandler strawberries, from Swanton Berry Farm, in October?! By mid-August, we wondered if we’d get more Chandlers from Jim. Every year, there’s a tiny blip of volume around October and sometimes into November. It’s not peak harvest or close to it, but we take whatever Jim has to send us while the rest is sold at his farmstand in Davenport. These sweet little surprise Chandlers are such a special October treat. Even though strawberries aren’t center-stage for us right now (honestly we wouldn’t eat any other strawberries at this point in the season), we’re reminded of the amazing summer luxuries when we pop a sweet, juicy Chandler into our mouth. Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Davenport.
We’ve mentally processed the end of the local berry season, but these raspberries are just so good. It’s too soon to call it quits! If we’re lucky, we may have berries from Poli and Sylvia Yerena for another couple weeks. We’re getting a bit of high-80s heat this week and the sweet-tart berries will love that too. Store these in the fridge. Grown organically in Watsonville.