A Note from Farmer Al: June 10, 2019
Dear CSA members,
The Robada apricot has to be the most beautiful apricot in the world. On the tree, they're luminescent golden globes lit up like Chinese lanterns. And they're large, almost twice the size of a Blenheim or Goldensweet. More the size of a peach.
Developed here in California the USDA breeding station in Fresno, by Craig Ledbeder. Craig also
developed Apache and Kettleman. This apricot, as beautiful as it is, has been problematic for us here at Frog Hollow. The main problem is pollination and fruit set. Most years we don't get much of a crop This may just be the timing of rain events at bloom time. This year we applied purchased apricot pollen which had been gathered last year and kept frozen til the day we applied it with a mechanical pollen blower. It must have worked. We've got the best crop of Robadas we've had in years. The trees are loaded!
The only bad news was the very windy day Saturday. The wind knocked some of the fruit on the ground! At first I was alarmed when I drove by the orchard and saw fruit on the ground. So I did a row by row survey and my estimate is that we lost only 5%.
You'll get to enjoy a lot of Robadas this year. Like the Kettleman, they are a high acid apricot. Leave them at room temperature for several days. When they soften up, slice them in a bowl with mulberries and vanilla ice cream!