Archive for tomatoes

Fire & Bears

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

On September 8, 2012 we had an incredible electrical storm, and the following two days there were high winds, which took whatever fires had been started on the 8th and kicked them up in to a handful of brush/forest fires. There was a bit of rain with the storm, but the next day was warm and dry and with the wind, many fires were started around the cities of Wenatchee and Cashmere, Washington. There is also a fire on a ridge above us, the First Creek Fire, which at the moment isn’t  a concern for us right now (except for our friends that live in that valley), but it has made for smokey conditions.

Another smokey day, some days better, some days worse

 

There’s a lot of people working to contain the fires and keep peoples houses from burning.

Thank you to all the firefighters!

Firefighting helicopter making its rounds from the lake to the fire

 

Our friends Liz and Eric at River Farm in Ellensburg lost their home in August to the Taylor Bridge fire. They’re hard working and resilient folks and will do alright despite their losses but still a tough go. Here’s a link for more info: help  

So a little smoke really isn’t too bad..

 

We’ve been having some bear activity here lately. When it gets as dry as it is in the wild lands our peaches, apples, pears and etc. must smell pretty good to a bear. So far we haven’t lost too much, some apples, Asian pears and grapes. Our current dog isn’t as interested in chasing the bears as Blaze was, not sure why… One of our tricks to dissuade the bear from sticking around is a motion sensor with a light and tape deck (in the plastic bag) to, hopefully, startle and move them along.

It’s effective in the area where it’s set up, limited to how much extension cord we have.

The bears only eat what’s ripe, we often find fruit still hanging on the tree with a bite taken out, usually not ripe enough.

I came across this recent bear feast :

Remnants of Yellow-jacket nest (in ground) dug up and the larvae eaten by bear, that’s some hardcore dining! Those are some fierce insects. It’s no wonder they want fruit.


This week we’ll have:

-Many more Tomatoes (Brandywine, Aunt Rubys German Green, San Marzano, Stupice, Cherokee Purple, Sungold, Matt’s Wild Currant)

-Friar Plums

-Fantasia Nectarines

-HoneyNectarCot Peaches

-Akane, Swiss Arlet, McIntosh, Tydeman Apples

-Hosui and Shinseiki Asian Pears

-Red Kalle (Clapp) Pears

See you Saturday.

2010 Tomato Challenge

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm with tags , , on October 10, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Congratulations to Liz for winning the 2010 10.0 Brix Tomato Challenge! with her German Red Strawberry tomato! Jon Rowley presented the challenge to find a 10.0 brix or better tomato at Seattle area farmers markets. ( Brix is a measurement of the percentage of sugars in fruits or vegetables as measured by a refractometer. ) Not an easy task this past summer, which it seems every outside tomato grower has had a tough time getting any tomatoes, yet alone a sweet one. With the cold wet spring weather and less then favorable conditions of the summer, it was a challenge for growers of many crops, especially heat loving tomatoes.

Liz in the Tomatoes


Liz had been quite frustrated all summer at the lack of tomatoes which were ripening, many fruits on the vine but so slow to ripen. At a market in September our market manager Chris Curtis asked Liz if she’d be interested in submitting a tomato for Jon’s challenge which she declined because of how few fruits we had and her low expectation of them. Jon came by a few hours later and asked for the beautiful, large German Red Strawberry tomato sitting on our display (which had been admired by many, but apparently the size scared them off) and it became the winning tomato!
Congratulations Liz and thanks for the Tomatoes!

Fresh for the Market, September 25

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Hardy Kiwi Fruit


Another cool week has kept fruit ripening slowed down, I was hoping to have more apple variety’s this week but it will wait until next. One surprise was that our kiwi fruits are on, a bit out of sync with everything else but here they are. If you haven’t had a Hardy Kiwi, they’re about the size of a big grape with more concentrated kiwi flavor then a regular fuzzy Kiwi and there’s no fuzz, so you can just pop them in your mouth.

Pink Pearl Apple


On our market table this week:
-Honey Nectar Cot Peaches
-Fantasia Nectarines
-Friar Plums
-Swiss Arlet Apples
-McIntosh Apples
-Pink Pearl Apples
-Shenseiki Asian Pears
-Red Clapp Pears
-Grapes
-Tomatoes
-Kiwi Fruit
The Pink Pearl apple is a red fleshed fruit, quit striking when you cut or bite in to one. Used by many for apple sauce. We only have a few boxes (the trees are still young).

McIntosh Apple


We’ll still have Nectarines and Peaches for another week after this one. The Honey-Nectar-Cots area combo of a white peach, nectarine and apricot in the guise of a old fashioned white peach.
They’re not the prettiest fruit, always a bit green looking, but inside a delicious fruit. They were bred by the noted fruit and nut breeder Bill Schildgen who lived near Palmer Lake outside of Oroville , Washington. He bred many varieties of walnuts, filberts, chestnuts and quite a few variations of soft fruit mixes, an amazing person I’m honored to have met.

Honey-Nectar-Cot Peach

See you saturday.

Fresh on the Market Table for September 11

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Red Clapp Pears


Its been a crazy weather week, it rained from Monday until early this morning (Thursday). Over an inch of precipitation, and cool, not much warmer then 60. I love that kind of weather personally, but Peaches and Tomatoes don’t care for it. I usually pick the soft fruit every other day, as it ripens, but ripening pretty much stopped this week. In last weeks post I stated that there will be Fantasia Nectarines, but not yet. Everything else I said would be, will be at the market on Saturday. I know better then to predict what will be ripe tomorrow or next week, I’ll attempt to refrain from doing so and maybe state what may be coming…
For sure this week we will have:
-Red Globe Peaches
-Red Gold Nectarines
-Shiro Plums
-Burbank Plums
-Akane Apples
-Ginger Gold Apples
-Gravenstein Apples
-Sunrise Apples
-Swiss Arlet Apples
-Tydeman Apples
-Tomatoes

Red Globe Peaches


The apples like the cooler weather and are coloring up nicely. We should be getting in to our Fall apples in the next couple of weeks, Nectarines and Peaches still on the way.
See you saturday.

Whats Fresh for September 4, 2010

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Does that say September?? Well I guess it does and is the next month already. Its been feeling Autumn-ish , cool nights, shorter days and the quality of the light has changed. But not to brood on the impending season change, its still warm and there will be soft fruit for the month. The cool nights do help the apples color up. I thought we’d have the next variety of nectarines this week but the cooler temperatures has slowed ripening on them a bit, next week for sure, and then for probably at least three weeks.

Burbank Plum


This week we’ll have:
-Garnet Peaches
-Red Globe Peaches
-Babcock White Peaches
-Raritan Rose White Peaches
-Independence Nectarines (Not many)
-Shiro Plums
-Burbank Plums
-Akane Apples
-Gravenstein Apples
-Sansa Apples
-Sunrise Apples
-Tydeman Apples
-A few Tomatoes
When we came home last Saturday we found fresh signs of a bear in the orchard, but not since or any fruit missing. We did see a little one while driving (about a 1/2 mile from our place) on our road on Tuesday, looked like a yearling to me, too cute.

Tydeman Apple, a cross between McIntosh & Worcester Pearmain


New for next week we will have Fantasia and Red Gold Nectarine, Red Clapp Pear, Swiss Arlet Apple, and more peaches.
See you Saturday.

Whats Fresh for August 28

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2010 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Akane Apples


This week at the University District farmers market we’ll have:
-Garnet Peaches
-August Blaze Peaches
-Raritan Rose White Peaches
-Independence Nectarines
-Snow Queen White Nectarines
-Shiro Plums
-Santa Rosa Plums
-Blenheim Apricots
-Akane Apples
-Sunrise Apples
-Tydeman Apple
-Green Beans
-Tomatoes
I’m pleased to have more then one box of apples this week, I know a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the apples. ( Personally I have no appetite for them until sometime around October, too much good soft fruit still, just me though…) Also a few more tomatoes then last week. This will be the last week for the Blenheim Apricots and Santa Rosa Plums as well as the Snow Queen Nectarines.

Independence Nectarine


I apologize for the brevity of the posts for the last month or so, I just can’t quite find the time or energy for more then the basic whats fresh list. I have some topics simmering and hope to get them blogged soon. Thanks and see you saturday!