Sunny Slope Orchard

Sunny Slope Orchard
In the coast range foothills overlooking the Sacramento Valley

Friday, June 29, 2012

Plum Crazy

Santa Rosa Plums are a complex fruit. When fully ripe, their skin is dark purple, almost black, while the flesh is reddish-pink underneath, turning golden yellow closer to the pit. The fragrance is heady with hints of wine and spicy freshness. Our Sunny Slope Santa Rosas are exceptionally juicy this year. Put all this together and you have a knock-out plum that combines tart with sweet and subtle with bold.

a plum & fig galette
Right now we have the last of our 2012 crop available for sale.  We recommend them for baking into tarts or galettes, topped with ice cream for your Fourth of July celebration. They make an amazing plum sauce, which is delicious on pancakes or yogurt and is terrific for home canning.  Of course, you will enjoy eating these plums fresh, out of hand or in your fruit salads. And did we mention plum sorbet?

Our past blog posts have links to all of these favorite recipes….
For plum sorbet recipe:

For links to plum galette and plum compote recipes:
Plums in the cooler
All our trees have been harvested as of today and we have a limited supply of our #2 grade plums in our cooler. These are fruits that are smaller or have minor skin blemishes. Flavor is still first-rate since all our fruit is truly tree-ripened.

You may buy a large box of Santa Rosas for $45; each box contains 18 pounds of fruit at $2.50 per pound. For smaller quantities, weighed out by the pound, the cost is $3.00 per pound. If you are coming from a distance or want us to reserve fruit for you, please call or email us ahead of time to be sure we have the amount you want.

Have a happy Independence Day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Harvest update - Last chance for peaches!

We are having the shortest peach season ever. Sudden hot weather has them all ripening with our last pick likely to be Wednesday June 13th. It has been a heavy crop so we have plenty for making that Father's Day peach pie, but cannot promise we will have any past mid-week.

We are picking apricots every day and filling orders on a first come, first served basis. We are hoping this week's forecasted high heat will not damage those still on the trees.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The 2012 harvest has begun

This morning, June 2nd, I picked the first of our Royal Blenheim apricots and Springcrest peaches. Up on a ladder, watching a Red Tail hawk circle and hearing a Pileated woodpecker call in the distance, eating any fruit that was too tempting to put in the bucket, I almost didn't mind the blazing sun.

So far the flavor of both cots and peaches is exceptional. We had enough winter rainfall and now enough heat for proper fruit development, but have been spared extreme conditions that can stress the trees and lessen flavor. For an added boost I did several foliar feeding sprays on the peaches and plums during the critical bloom through fruit development stage, applying liquid fish and kelp extracts as well as trace minerals. This appears to have given the trees everything they needed during this stage of intensive growth of leaves and fruit. Leaf and fruit color, fruit size and flavor, and overall vigor have never been better.

We expect cots to start coming on heavy around June 10th or so. How long they last depends heavily upon the weather as too much high heat can ruin the last of the fruit.
Peach trees are showing a strong response to foliar feeding
with deep green leaf color, dense growth and high fruit flavor

Peaches should be available starting June 7-10 and lasting about 2 weeks.

A Santa Rosa plum tree exploding in lush growth

Our all out assault on the leaf curl plum aphid this year has been a real success. The trees are now completely free of the pest that in the last few years has sapped their strength and reduced fruit quality. Tree vigor and fruit size are outstanding once again. We expect plums to ripen starting in late June.

Fruit Sales: To check on fruit availability just give us a call at 707-448-4792. Also check out "What is Ripe Now" link on this blog.