Happy New Year! The rain has finally started which is good news, as California had a record dry spell this December. The lack of rain made for easy harvest conditions, as we can not pick wet fruit, but of course lack of rain is a concern after the unprecedented droughts and fires we have been experiencing in California. Our hearts go out to the recent victims of fires in Southern California, and of course, those still trying to claw out from the devastating fires in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino County this fall.
Our sister farm, Leisen’s Bridgeway Farms, was one of the victims in Santa Rosa, and they are still awaiting FEMA clean up of the burned farm site, including home, barn, rental house, hoop houses etc. Janet and Corrie sold our produce along with their own at up to five farmer’s markets per week in Sonoma and Marin County. We are happy to report that despite the challenges of losing all the infrastructure they were using to farm, they have continued to sell at one farmer’s market. Every Saturday, they set up shop at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market at the Veteran’s Memorial Building Parking Lot in Santa Rosa, where they sell their vegetables. Alongside their veggies, as of this week, they are also selling some of our seasonal citrus fruit. If you are in the area, we urge you to drop by the market to show them some “Sonoma County Strong” love and support at this difficult time.
What do we, and they, have for sale right now? We are still picking our “Late Harvest” Satsuma Mandarins. These are the mandarins that have a thicker skin and are the last to ripen on our trees. Have you seen a “Sumo Mandarin”? They look a bit like those.
Our “Late Harvest” Satsuma Mandarins.
Notice the thicker rind, which allows the fruit to last longer on the tree but also leads to more fiber in the fruit. They are sweet, but less tart than the earlier Satsumas. Janet and Corrie have been offering them for tasting at the market and they are flying off the shelves.
We have also started harvesting our Oro Blanco, which is a cross between grapefruit and pomelo, and they are much sweeter than regular grapefruit. The membrane is thick and easily removed, and has a touch of bitterness. We like to peel them like an orange, then remove the white membrane from each segment before eating. Others like the bitterness of the membrane balanced with the sweetness of the segments within.
We also have our started harvesting our Sanguinella Blood Oranges.
Sanguinella Blood Oranges
With blood oranges, as they sit in storage they get sweeter and develop more color. These are the first oranges of the season so a they are bit more tart, with a lighter color.
This year, for the first time, we are harvesting a few of our seedless clementine oranges. They are harder to peel and eat out of hand than Satsumas due to a skin that clings to the fruit, and very juicy flesh, but the fruit is incredibly sweet and aromatic.
We also have both Meyer Lemons and Eureka Lemons available. Soon we will also harvest a small crop of Cara Cara oranges.
Our Meyer Lemons are huge, with very aromatic juicy flesh
If you would like to sample any of the produce before buying, please visit us at the farm, or visit the Leisen’s Bridgeway Farms booth at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market. Here is a link to the Leisen’s Bridgeway Farm facebook site:
We are open by appointment. Please use this link to contact us for more information: