Open Orchard Day - March 13
Since we had so much fun last time, we are doing it again! Our second Open Orchard day is this Sunday, March 13th, from 12-6 pm. A lot more of our fruit trees are bursting into bloom, so come for a visit walk among the blossoms, meet some of your neighbors, and enjoy the foretaste of spring. We will have a limited amount of citrus for tasting and taking home as well as some gorgeous spring flowers.
Spectacular and Strange Spring Citrus
I gotta admit, I was not very good at growing citrus trees initially. We planted around 70 baby citrus trees around 3-4 years ago, but I didn’t feed them enough at the start. Little did I know how hungry citrus trees are, and now they get fed 3-4 times a year, and are thriving. We finally have some tasty citrus to try, taste, and sell. Of the over 30 varieties we planted, here are some varieties I have learned to love:
These are tiny tiny seedless, easy peel mandarins, the size of a plum or smaller. They are cute, they are delicious, what is not to love? Another larger option with my strong recommendation are the Owari Satsumas, well known for their loose skin and satisfying flavor.
Bearrs Limes (aka Persian Lime)
This seedless lime grows incredibly abundantly in our orchard, but was overlooked for a few years, because ignorant me did not know that limes turn yellow when they get riper. And then they look completely identical to Meyer lemons. It's very confusing, I was very confused, but never fear, it's a delicious lime when green or yellow.
No California garden is complete without a Meyer lemon bush. Well suited to our climate, these bushes can hold their fruit for months, and will basically provide free lemons all year long. Meyer lemons are crossbred with oranges for a sweeter taste than typical lemons. They are by far my preference for cooking, juicing and preserving.
And the Stranger Citrus
Lemons, limes and mandarins are familiar to almost everyone, but the stranger citrus are the secret delight of the orchard right now. Yuzu have just finished their season, with their pebbly fragrant rinds processed into simple syrup, ponzu and preserves. Next, the Bergamot Sour Orange has ripened up, perfuming everything with that earl grey flavor. Indio Mandarinquats are my favorite for quick snacking, with a seedless flesh and equally fragrant rind. And starting soon, the Vanilla Sanguino blood oranges will come into their glorious peak, with unique pink skinned flesh and mellow flavor.
We are Hiring - Rose Concierge
We just posted a job listing for a Rose Concierge. We will be opening reservations to come pick roses at our farm at the end of April, and are looking for a part time worker on the weekends to help our customers. To be clear, this is a customer service job, not a farm labor job. If you have worked in a coffee shop, retail store, etc. that is the experience we are looking for. Here is the full job description.
The Roses are Coming
We have planted 200 new roses, pruned the 300 from former years, and our rose field is getting ready to open to the public. I expect we will open reservations in about a month and open the field for picking at the end of April. I will keep everyone posted, for I cannot be more excited for this year's rose season. Also happening soon, 600 more roses we are going to grow from tiny little starts into full grown bushes in the greenhouse.
We are Looking For Farm Furniture
Hey local friends, do you have any gently used outdoor benches, picnic tables, outdoor seating and/or work tables sitting around gathering dust? I’d like to create more seating, working and resting spots around the farm. If you would like to sell, trade or donate anything like this, please get in touch. Metal or wood only please, no plastic. Contact nadine at birdsongorchards dot com