A Note from Alex: March 25, 2019

Dear CSA members,

One thing that has really struck me since joining the Frog Hollow Farm team in January is the farm’s fierce commitment to using absolutely every piece of fruit that we grow for something that it is uniquely suited for. Several months ago, as the orchards began to bloom and we approached the tail end of Warren pear season, we gathered around the square table in the farm office to discuss a juicy opportunity. After a successful pear harvest, we had several tons of processing grade pears at our fingertips for new product innovation and the team was full of ideas.

Our endlessly inventive owner and chef, Becky, had been mulling over the idea for a Warren Pear and Meyer Lemon marmalade for some time. We immediately agreed that this would be a delectable use for the first half of the pears. Over the next several weeks, Becky turned her kitchen into a full-on marmalade test lab. The result was an incredible mix of ripe bits of pear and delicate strings of lemon rind that even the most adamant marmalade skeptic would love.

Now for the second half of the pears… Before this meeting, several of us had just attended the EcoFarm conference where we met the innovative cider makers from Ethic Ciders. Upon learning that they shared many of our values around organic and regenerative agriculture, we reached out to Ned and Ryan from Ethic and they were eager to apply their ingenuity to making a limited release cider using our pears. We packed up the pears and Kevin from our team ran them up to a juice press near Ethic’s Petaluma brewery. Ryan shared that they just finished fermentation and are in the process of “maturation, which gives the cider time to rest and develop its flavor after fermenting.” Each update they send stokes our excitement for the cider’s release in our cafe and other restaurants in The Bay that they distribute to.

Each week that I receive my CSA box, I find myself going through the same imaginative exercise that we had at the square table at the farm a few months ago–what is the most delicious and fitting way that I can use each piece of produce that I’ve received? I find such joy in this process and hope that all of you do as well.

Oh, and happy Spring!
Alex Grant