Fruit & News of the Week: August 7, 2017

Fruit of the Week:

O'Henry Peaches Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA Farmer Al's favorite peach to grill, the O'Henry has the flavor, size, and crimson blush that makes for a truly memorable peach. It's elegantly pointed shape slices to an attractive heart shape for striking presentation.

Opal Peaches Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA Yellow-fleshed peaches are more popular in the United States, but the allure of an excellent white-fleshed variety like the Opal can't be denied. Very low in acid, the Opal's sweetness comes across two-fold. A beautiful dessert peach, the Opal has a deli- cate pink blush to its skin and mild flesh with a hint of vanilla.

Summer Fire Nectarines Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA The Summer Fire has a firm meaty flesh that isn't as juicy as some of our other varieties but is packed with a red wine inten- sity that makes it a memorable and desirable nectarine. Often with a deeper reddish hue than the Fantasia, the Summer Fire is a variety that's worth the extra effort it takes to slice and pit a clingstone: its warm yellow flesh is streaked beautifully with red near the pit.

Flavor King Pluots Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA A dark-skinned pluot with red flesh, it has an intense rich flavor combined with sweet, spicy tones that are reminiscent of the Santa Rosa. A nice acid bite and firm texture that softens beau- tifully as the fruit continues to ripen, the Flavor King is amazing out of hand and equally good for baking.

Crimson Royale Pluots Frog Hollow Farm, Brentwood, CA With an elongated shape similar to an apricot, the Crimson Royal has a tangy red skin which contrasts deliciously with the sweet orange flesh within. ...all varieties are subject to change...

A Note from Sarah:

What on EARTH is happening with the weather?!?! Today is muggy and hot. This morning at 6am, when I got up, it was 77 degrees. What?!? Not our typical Northern CA summer weather. I got reports this morning of thunder and lightning last night and light showers. WHAT?!?! In August? In Brentwood? No Bueno. We have had multiple days in a row of over 100 degree heat this week alone. This scenario has repeated itself multiple times over the summer. In a “normal” year we have one, maybe two, multiple days of triple digit heat and they are spread apart. This year it has been day after day, week after week with little break. What this translates to for us is the trees are stressed. When it’s over 95 degrees they shut down. They slow the flow of sap which brings vital nutrients to the ripening fruit. This process has been slowed and in some cases stopped. That’s bad for us we have the phone ringing off the hook with orders. We don’t have any ripe fruit! The other serious impact this heat has is to our crews. Heat Illness is a VERY real, very dangerous situation for the crew members who are working in this triple digit heat. We have to get what ripe fruit there is off the trees or we will loose it. Which we can not afford to do. When it’s 105 in the shade it’s really difficult to motivate our guys to pick the fruit. They are hot and tired. Heat like this is exhausting. We’ve taken to buying powdered Gatorade for the kitchen crew to make at noon every day for anyone who wants it. We only make it in the afternoon because we need the guys to drink water (and lots of it) first. The Gatorade is to help with the electrolytes and help prevent dehydration. We have the best crew anyone could ask for. They show up everyday, knowing it’s going to be well into the 100’s and sing and laugh as they pick the fruit you’re all getting to enjoy on your tables. I can’t begin to give enough kudos to these guys. Without them and their tireless good humor and energy, we’d be lost. The next time you sink your teeth into one of our peaches, nectarines or pluots, give a shout out to the guys who picked them for you in triple digit heat. Then be thankful for air conditioning!