Fall is here!
It’s late September, 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 its flavors that deepen throughout the season but we’re lucky to get the first harvest. Keep these on your counter. Grown organically in Winters.
This is the last week of melons for Robert and Carine at Sun Tracker Farm. The weather is cooling down in the Capay Valley and the melons have slowed way down too. You may be getting one of three amazing melons they’re wrapping up the season with. You may have a beloved Charentais (orange flesh), a Galia (green flesh), or a Crenshaw (light orange & cream flesh). It’s been an amazing melon season with our friends at Sun Tracker and we think they deserve a standing ovation for all the “omg this is incredible” reactions they have evoked over the past two months. They grow and harvest for flavor and you can definitely taste it! Store your ripe melon in the fridge and of course, please enjoy chilled. Grown organically in Guinda.
These Warren pears from Danny and Drew at The Peach Jamboree are just magic. Eating a Warren pear will instantly make you realize that you’re ready for pear season. It’ll also make you forget everything you knew about a pear. It's soft and buttery, incredibly juicy, and the flavor is just out-of-this-world good. Warrens are also almost free of stone cells, the type of sclereid cell that make up the gritty texture in most varieties of pears (and guava!). This is what makes the Warren pear so special: nothing standing in the way of its buttery soft texture. In a world of hardy pears stored for months and shipped long distances, Warrens don’t make the cut, so they’re rarely grown commercially. We’re so lucky to find these beautiful pears locally. Keep them on the counter. They’re best when they show a bit of golden color – maybe even a blush of red! Grown organically in Oroville.
These Nijisseiki pears, also more commonly known as 20th Century asian pears, are grown by EARTHseed Farm in Sebastopol. After we’ve had our fill of the early Hosui asian pears, we wait not-so-patiently for the 20th Century asian pears. Their thin yellow-green skin and super duper crispy, juicy flesh has the sweetest butterscotch note that finishes with a slightest bit of tartness. Boy are these refreshing! This variety is popular in Japan and seems to be gaining some more love in California too. We like our asian pears crispy and cool so we store them in the fridge. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
We love California-grown Keitt mangoes but even more we love California-grown Keitt mangoes that are nearly the size of a (baby’s) head! These hefty mangoes (~1.8 lb) are grown in the Coachella Valley, near the Salton Sea. The Keitt was our introduction to California-grown mangos and we’ve looked forward to the CA Keitt season every year since. They’re ripe and ready to eat when they’re green and they yield to gentle pressure from your thumb. The pit is tiny compared to the flesh which means more yummy fruit to enjoy and less work around the pit! The flavor is delicious and these desert-grown Keitts are such a sweet September treat. Store these on the counter. Grown organically in the Coachella Valley.
We go back and forth on whether we should stop eating berries by now but these raspberries are just so good. Poli and Sylvia Yerena are so humble about the hard work they do; we know it’s been a tough berry season for many growers and there aren’t a lot of local raspberries given the long rainy season and floods last spring. They’ve got another few weeks of raspberries and though the weather is cooling down in Watsonville, the sweet-tart flavor is still singing. We love the golden raspberries they grow and have asked them to sprinkle what they’re able to harvest throughout the baskets. Poli says he’ll try to grow more next year since we love them so. Store these in the fridge. Grown organically in Watsonville.
We’re revisiting the IFG 42 grapes from Murray Family Farm because they’re such an easy eater. We also got such positive feedback from the fan club that we wanted to bring them back one last time (maybe). These are still being harvested fresh but they’re nearing the end of season. Green and crispy, these diamond-shaped grapes are lovable, a delicious snack, and all around a really relaxing grape to eat. As grape lovers, we love a variety that takes us to flavortown USA (Bronx, some other IFG varieties) and those that require more work (the Japanese slip-skin varieties), but we also make room for the easy-eatin’ grapes like the IFG 42s. We eat ‘em by the cluster. Store these in the fridge. Grown organically in Bakersfield.