As we move deeper into the Fall season here in Southern California, there are some exciting changes occurring. It is almost impossible to predict the weather this time of year, with heat waves, chance of rain storms, and almost always, wind. We had our first rain storm in almost 6 months, and a few days later a wildfire started 20 miles north of the ranch. Fall in Southern California is truly a mixed bag.
Regardless of all of that, the trees and vines adjust and have been ushering in new seasonal fruits as others prepare for the next season. Not only are the days getting shorter, but avocados have finished their harvest season which makes me very S.A.D. (Seasonal Avocado Depression).
The good news though is that Passionfruit are still going strong and are loving these warm and sunny days. This lingering weather encourages the vines to push new growth, which in turn brings more flowers. The maturing time from flower to harvested fruit is about 3-4 months, putting us closer to our dream of year round fresh Passionfruit availability.
The cooler nights signal the start of the Feijoas/Pineapple Guava harvest. They require cooler temperatures to reach their peak flavor profile. Their harvest will continue for several months into the start of winter. Growing up, my parents never gave out candy at Halloween, but instead would hand out these guavas. As you can probably imagine, there was definitely a learning curve with the neighborhood kids, but eventually our house became a must visit destination. The sweet/tart tangy fruit was better than most candies and parents also heartily approved!
The Lemon harvest is continuing strongly and the trees are enjoying the rain showers. These fresh and unwaxed lemons continue to be a surprise favorite, as most people have not ever had access to a truly fresh lemon, picked days ago, not weeks ago. To taste the fresh zest, the bright and tart acidity, and the undeniable realness of the fruit is not something to underestimate. I find myself adding some form of lemon to most of my cooking and the lemon zest and juice is my not so secret ingredient in all of my pies and pastries. If you haven’t tried this, you must.
Persimmon and Pomegranate harvests were a quick flash, as always, especially so due to our low rain year with the trees not able to hold as much fruit. Their leaves are now turning neon orange and golden yellow respectively, as they are some of the few “Fall” plants on the property. We planted our pomegranates along roads, and orchards as both a wind break and for fruit production, so it’s beautiful to see the yellow lines meandering around the property. Most of our pomegranates burned completely to the ground in the Thomas fire of 2017, but they are making their way back and getting bigger each year.
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, I am trying to make sure I am properly stocked with shipping and packaging materials and prepared for the inevitable rush, and will be announcing the cut off date for orders in the coming weeks. This is both to give me a chance for a break over the holidays, and also to help prevent your perishable packages getting lost or delayed in the holiday rush transit.
I can’t believe it’s only been two months since launching the website, and I am so grateful to all of you who have introduced yourselves, shared your creations, and supported our family farm and my new venture. I truly appreciate your support.