Green lemons???

We’ve been busy size picking the largest lemons lately.  Seeded and seedless.  Did you know though, this early in the year, the lemons are still green!  Actaully, they are still green because we haven’t gotten the cold weather we need to turn them yellow.  So we pick them green, and the packing house lets them yellow in a temperature controlled room.  Cool, huh?

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Olive picking has started.

Our olives are finally ready for picking!  Look at the trees, they are loaded, right?  Well, not really.  Olives can be very alternate bearing, and this is their off year.  Since there aren’t that many though, the sizes are looking good.    IMG_1491.JPG

So how can you tell when olives are ready to be picked?  When you can see a ring of oil around the perimeter of a cut like below.  IMG_1502.JPG

Speaking of oil, check out what happens when you squeeze a fresh olive that’s ready to be picked….  

Look at the size of the olives this year!  For the manzanillo variety, these are HUGE.  They could be stuffed which all kinds of stuff after they are cured…..

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How are olives picked you ask?  Good question!  Some olives that are used for oil are machine harvested.  There are even some people planting new varieties that are for canning, but can be machine harvested.  But some of our trees are close to 100 years old, so we harvest by hand.  So it’s easy to see why sometimes olives are expensive!  Each person on the harvest crew can pick about 550lbs per day….using this method.   

Here’s hoping we have a good harvest this year.  We might even cure a few buckets of olives ourselves……

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Solarization.

Solarization.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, it’s a trial we’re doing to control weeds in our organic transition block.  Since we can’t spray herbicide, we will try anything that might work!

The logic behind this is that the sun will superheat the ground, killing the weeds and their seeds.  We’ll see how it works! IMG_1327.JPG

Ever heard of this? Me neither till we attended the California small farm conf. This is another way for organic growers to kill weeds. we are testing this. Hopefully it works.