Wednesday, November 5, 2014

And So It Begins...

Citrus season is on! Last week, Satsuma Mandarins and Buddha Hands went out to Ristorante Avanti, and Bearss Limes and more Buddha Hands went to The Penny. Our citrus trees are absolutely loaded this year, and they are much happier following the inch of rain we received last weekend (now 2.86" ytd).

We're back in a bit of high pressure for the time being. This evening we took advantage of the full moon super low tide to visit the shores of Natural Bridges. The weather and the wildlife were amazing!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcoming Winter

After a heavy hitting avocado season, we've moved on to Poms! Over 600 pounds went out the door last week: most to Happy Child CSA and some to Pacific Coast Pantry for their grenadine.

Equally exciting is the .61" of rain we received today. There was not a trickle of runoff to be seen as the ground sponged it up. The newts and salamanders are on the move, and the calls of happy frogs blended with the patter of the raindrops. We're at 1.85" year to date... fingers crossed for many more troughs!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Got Hass?

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We picked and packed 600 Lamb Hass Avocados for Frog Hollow Farm's Happy Child CSA today, and we plan to do the same each week for the next two months. 

Sign up now to reserve your share!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Black Manuka Champagne Grapes

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It's hard not to respect vines capable of producing hundreds of pounds of fruit with zero inputs. These grapes were never irrigated, never fertilized, and never sprayed with stylet oil. In short, they grew themselves (with a little help from our friends)...

Another thank you is owed to Art from the California Rare Fruit Growers Monterey Bay Chapter, who assisted me this year with winter pruning. To quote him quoting a grapevine, "Prune me poor, I'll make you rich!"

To get a taste locally, friend the Penny Ice Creamery on facebook. They post their flavors daily.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Working Women

A few highlights from the past week:
First, our ducks were featured on NPR, many thanks to Liza. Then, Deb from GirlzWurk Honey read the aforementioned article and came over with two swarms of bees that she recently rescued. We are grateful in advance for the pollination services the little ladies will provide and look forward to sharing their honey. ~We also traded a dozen duck eggs with Deb for a quart of her GirlzWurk Raw & Wild Honey Mustard, which is ridiculously tasty!~ Finally, our roses came through with a stupendous bouquet for Mother's Day. Much love and gratitude to all of AHMF's working women!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring Update

As of this posting, we're up to 17.56" on the rain gauge, approximately one third of our usual rainfall. Last week's high pressure pushed temps into the high 80's for four days straight. We spent the weekend processing fruit. Our mulberries became ice cream and sherbet, the last of the kiwis were blended into sorbet, and two flats of strawberries turned into 16 pints of jam. Today, Meyer lemons and Xinjiang oranges went down to Assembly. Nancy and I went to one of their opening nights, and the food and ambiance are excellent!

This spring was busy and productive. Our cover crop is incorporated--though we are not planting any annuals this year on account of the drought. Winter grafts and cuttings are leafed out and taking off. All of the orchards are mowed, and our trees are fertilized. I skirted up the pomegranates a couple of weeks ago and am in the process of re-mulching them. The citrus is in full bloom and full of big smells and buzzing bees.

I put together another high definition panorama of our citrus slope a couple of weeks ago for the Citrus Care Workshop I co-taught at the UCSC Farm with living legend Orin Martin. It was a fun going back through old photos documenting our tree's growth and some of the fruit they've produced over the last five years.

The full slideshow is posted here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tango in the Rain

We've had a bit more wet weather since our last post. Our rain gauge now reads 6.99" since July 1st, and our cover crop is finally taking off. Unfortunately, we've gone high and dry again for at least the next week. The rain we did have motivated me to dust off the camera however. All of our landscaping and the critters who share our land greatly appreciated the drink. After what was the longest summer, it is nice to see banana slugs out and about each morning! The European Honeybees and Anna's Hummingbirds are enjoying spring's nectar-filled blossoms. Our ponds are alive again with the chorus of tree frogs, and the California Coast Range Newts have joined them in the water.

We also recently captured some spectacular footage of the furry four-legged friends that share our woods. After finding multiple deer carcases this winter, I finally invested in an entry level game cam. Our video gallery to date can be accessed from the right-hand sidebar of this blog, or by clicking here. All videos are in HD, so be sure to right click on them and crank up your Flash Player buffer to "unlimited." Enjoy, and keep dancing for rain!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Morning Coming Down

The welcome pattering of rain accompanies this post. We've had 0.40" so far this morning, making this as one of the most significant rain events year to date; only 3.05" have fallen since July. Despite the dry weather, we had a seamless transition from fall to winter crops: the last persimmons and pumpkins went out at the same time as the first lemons and limes.

Two cases of Buddha Hand Citrons made the trek to Colorado to the Breckenridge Brewery to ring in 2014. Many cases of Owari Satsuma Mandarins, Meyer Lemons and Hayward Kiwis were turned into frozen treats this January by The Penny Ice Creamery. An additional 52 cases of Meyer Lemons (2370#) went to Frog Hollow Farm for their Meyer Lemon Marmalade. Ristoranti Avanti is using our Algerian Clementines, Tango Mandarins, Genoa Italian Heirloom Lemons, and Citrus Hystrix limes and leaves. The Picnic Basket is using Genoa Italian Heirloom Lemons as well.

On the home front, we've been grafting up a storm: Pakistani mulberries, Santa Rosa & Satsuma plums, Blenheim & Black Arkansas apricots, Flavor King pluots, D'Anjou, Warren, Seckel, Magness & Superfin pears, and Hosui & Kosui Asian pears. Gratitude for the scion wood goes to the Monterey Bay Chapter of the CRFG and everyone who helped to make their Scion Exchange such a success. Thankfully, we did our winter pruning early, as roses, grapes, pomegranates and mulberries are all pushing buds already.

And with that, the sun is out... time to put on my rubber boots and empty the rain buckets... hope that rain comes back around!