A Note from Farmer Al: July 9th 2018
Dear CSA Members,
As we move into mid-summer, operations are intensifying in a good way. Right now, halfway into the Suncrest, we’re just barely ahead of ripening fruit. And nectarines are now ripening, with 4 varieties picking at the same time. My favorite is the Ruby Grand, which is becoming an “heirloom” variety just by the virtue of the fact that it is rare and hard to find. I myself am tempted almost every year to pull out the trees because the “pack out’ is so dismal. Only 50% of what comes off the tree is salable. The fruit cracks and splits as it ripens and must be relegated to “kitchen” grade status where it will either be dried or frozen. Yet it is those “kitchen” processing activities that enable Frog Hollow Farm to capture the value of the wonderful and rare varieties like the “Ruby Grand” nectarine. Just this morning I decided to brix one, which tests the sugar level in the fruit. It is a phenomenal 23 ° Brix, which is approaching the outer limits of human ability to experience pleasure. But that particular piece of fruit had a deep crack from stem to blossom end, literally bursting with goodness, yet unsalable because of the open skin. These are the fruit I take home to eat. We’ll send some of them to you, our CSA members, hoping you will know how to handle them and will be able to experience the taste.
All my best,