The apricot crop is at the verge of being ripe, and I enjoy walking the orchards and sampling the fruit to assess when to start the harvest.
There are three apricot orchards on the farm, each maturing at slightly different rates due to their different exposures in the landscape, one facing east, another northwest, and the third one growing on more level ground on top of a ridge. This difference in exposure helps stagger the harvest workload. Right now, the orange color of the apricots is deceiving since the majority is still crunchy and hard. I am waiting for another week when the fruit are a little softer, expressing their wonderful flavor and sweetness.
A crop close to maturity has a unique allure. I delight in being the first to taste and savor a ripe fruit directly from a plant. Picking a juicy soft sweet apricot with that perfect pitch of ripeness is a real treat. As we are about to turn the seasonal corner into summer I recognize this familiar eagerness, almost impatience welling up in me to harvest the next round of crops.
The Santa Rosa Plums are starting to turn red-purple in color, but even the darkest ones are too sour and make my mouth pucker when I bite into one; they are probably 2 weeks away from harvest.
The Sweet Pepper harvest has started with some early Yellow Hungarians going into the family shares this week. Also, the popular Padron Peppers will be harvested this week, most likely some finding their way into our extra fruit options first and soon all other shares in the weeks following.
The rest of the peppers such as the Pimentos and Corno di Torros are still developing, and won’t have their full flavor until showing some yellow or red colors, probably sometime in July.
Right now, of course, no field walk is finished before checking on the tomatoes, which have plenty of green fruit and flowers.
Our Sungold Cherry Tomatoes will be the first to mature. I already harvested a few early maturing clusters at the base of a plant, hidden among its lush green foliage.
As I watch in anticipation the flowering and fruiting crops, the rhythm of the season teaches me to be patient. As someone once said, “The fruit is green until it’s ripe, and you just can’t rush it.”
Friday marks the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice, when the sunlight is at its peak in our hemisphere. Plants absorb, almost miraculously, this life nourishing light, manifesting the fertility of the earth. Just like the plants absorb the light that comes from the sun, we ourselves can recognize the fire within to grow and bring things to fruition. This Saturday, June 22nd we celebrate the Summer Solstice here on the farm and we invite you to join us.