Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'Wonderful' Pomegranates!

Our Organic 'Wonderful' Pomegranates are ready for harvest! The 'Wonderful' cultivar is prized for its large, dark red arils. This summer's heat has ripened them to sweet perfection. The Pomegranate is highly valued in many cultures and known for its health promoting properties. 

We are selling them for $2.00/lb--approximately $1.50 each-- or $17.50 per 10 lbs for those interested in juicing and making syrups and sauces.  They are available for pickup/delivery locally, and we are able to ship within the continental United States. (Wholesale orders of more than 50 lbs will receive an additional price break).

Please Contact Us to place your order and enjoy this seasonal, healthful fruit. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Summer Summary

Our summer simply flew by this year. Its most lasting legacy is our Recipes page, which catalogs the past 15 weeks of CSA boxes. The truth is that we were often too busy to take photos, and there's so much in my mind that isn't in the above slideshow, but c'est la vie.  We had a terrific season this year right up until our well ran dry! 30" of rain last winter (much of it in 5" bursts of runoff) proved inadequate to recharging the cracks and fissures that feed our current well. In order to save our fruit trees, we were forced to end the CSA a few weeks early this year. A huge thank you to all of our CSA members, who supported us through this ordeal. Your kind words and encouragement mean the world to us.

We've got our fingers crossed and our palms pressed together for a wet winter, but in the meantime, we were forced to dig a supplemental well.  Pipes and conduit are laid; wires are pulled; all we need is a pump, which arrives tomorrow. The new well appears to be a gusher, and we're quite hopeful that our old well will recover along with groundwater levels this winter, so that this doesn't happen again.

In the meantime, we've begun our winter citrus harvest. We delivered a case of Buddha's Hand Citrons to The Penny last week, so look for that flavor soon. We made ice cream from them ourselves a couple of months ago, and I also candied one yesterday. The taste is out of this world: pungent, sweet, old-fashioned delicious! Our pomegranates are a couple of weeks from being ready, and the kiwis a few weeks behind them. We have outstanding crops on the trees and vines respectively. Our citrus and avocados are heavily laden as well.

We had .27" of rain last weekend, but another high pressure ridge is rolling through this week.  The mercury is projected to visit the low nineties on Wednesday and Thursday. Our annual beds are thus on a bit of a holding pattern until a significant storm rolls through, enabling us to incorporate this season's crop residue and sow our cover crop into moist soil.

As our CSA members know, we partnered with a farm in the Upper Sacramento Valley to put our own label of handpicked, Organic olive oil this summer. It will be available year round for both shipping and local delivery. The oil is from the mid-season harvest on 80+ year-old Mission Olive trees. It is green enough to be excellent raw--on salad, in dressings, etc.--but buttery enough not to have the bite or aftertaste that limit the cooking potential of early-season harvested oils. We use it exclusively at home and are continuously impressed by its scope and versatility. Please contact us directly to place an order.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sneak Preview...

We are very excited for our CSA to begin next Tuesday. The above slideshow is a sneak peak at some of what's been growing on around here since our last post.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Longer Days and Shorter Nights

Spring has sprung on the farm. Our rain totals are at 11.30" for the month of March, bringing us to 25.90" year to date. There are a couple more systems forecast to roll through this week starting tomorrow morning after 11am. Hopefully, we'll have time to finish mowing the citrus slope before it begins.

We crossed quite a bit off the list this month. All of the fruit trees were fertilized and mulched. Our starts were potted up to bigger containers. Our seed potatoes are sprouting, and two varieties of onions are already in the ground.

We also sold quite a bit of citrus. 870#'s to be exact. The Encore Mandarins are still on the trees. They are super sweet at this point, and we plan to pick them this week.

Across the farm buds are breaking, trees are blossoming and the cover crop is in bloom. There are few sweeter scents of spring than fields of flowering bell beans. The tree frogs have returned to our pond and fill our nights with their joyous laughter. Yesterday the koi awoke from their winter slumber, their mouths breaking the surface of the pond in search of food, which we happily obliged them.

Our CSA is more than 1/3rd full already...
Visit MountainHarvestCSA.com to subscribe!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Got Sorbet?

Above (L>R): cases of Meyer and Genoa Lemons

We are very pleased to have added a new corporate account today...
The Penny Ice Creamery cranks out Santa Cruz's finest ice creams and sorbets from scratch daily! We are excited and honored to be a part of their supply chain.

Below: Three members of Penny's Jr. Fanclub hard at work last Saturday

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meyers for Marmalade

This winter continues to bless us with fruit-ripening weather. Last week we picked and packed 600#'s of Meyer Lemons for Farmers Al & Becky at Frog Hollow Farm for their Meyer Lemon Marmalade. With a bit of hustle, we managed to get the last of them safely indoors--and backfill the aforementioned irrigation trench--before a nice spell of rain moved through. (Our rain gauge now stands at 12.96" for the season).

Our kiwis and table grapes had their winter haircut last week as well, while the pomegranates are practically all leafed out already and the roses have yet to slow down. We've finished re-mulching the citrus and pomegranates with fresh wood chips, and a ton of fruit tree fertilizer is due to arrive tomorrow from Cal Organics to be tucked neatly beneath them.

In other news, the log pile that was taking up two parking spots in our driveway is now bucked, split and stacked, and our new (used) walk-in cooler is all hooked up and blowing cold.

Next up: "Genoa" Italian Lemons; "Encore" & "Gold Nugget" Mandarins!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thrive & Pray for Rain

Greetings to 2012! First of all, a long overdue thank you to our 2011 CSA members. We had a blast growing for you and are already gearing up for this year. Our seeds and seed potatoes are all ordered for the 2012 CSA, and both the depth and breadth of our offerings are greatly expanded over last season.

We've had an amazingly productive (and dry) winter so far.

The concerning news is that with only 5.83 inches of rain to date, our cover crop is just over a foot tall, and we continue to need to irrigate our trees. In addition, Cal Fire suspended our burn season until wetter times.

The rosier side of that equation is that our roses and winter greens are still absolutely cranking, and we have a fantastic citrus crop. We sold our first 140 pounds of mandarins to Farmer Al at Frog Hollow Farm last week. We're selling them our Meyer Lemon crop for their Meyer Lemon Marmalade in a few weeks.

In other news, we've accomplished an incredible amount of tree work and brush removal, opening up new areas for cultivation later this year. We also picked up a walk-in cooler earlier this week to help keep our greens crispy in the summer heat.

An expansion of our irrigation system is on the agenda for next week. Mmmmmmm...ditch witch. Hopefully the open trench will prove too tempting to the heavens, and we'll finally receive some of the precipitation Alaska keeps hoarding!