Orchard Gems

There is more growing in our Orchard at the farm than just fruit.
We've had great luck this summer with beans here. 
We are growing royal burgundy and blue lake beans. 

Royal Burgundy Beans have beautiful purple blossom 
These striking purple blossoms turn into dramatic looking beans 
providing a different flavor and color combination
to inspire our chefs as they get creative with summer beans. 
photo courtesy of Territorial Seed Company
At the girl & the fig right now, we are featuring a delicious entree: 
tomales bay king salmon with salt-roasted yukon potatoes,
summer beans, arugula, smoked paprika beurre blanc.  

As you may recall, we are also growing beans along the fence behind ESTATE
Beans are easy to grow and here are some great tips for growing beans

Beans along the fence at ESTATE in July and then a month later

beans going crazy at ESTATE
If you are lucky enough to have
beans growing out your back door,  
you might try grilling them

These are not weeds in this orchard bed, it is purslane.
Chef John particularly likes using purslane to enhance a salad.
And according to Cook Local food blog: "Purslane has long been considered a weed,
but you can eat it just like you eat a leafy vegetable.
The flavor is sweet, salty, and sour all at the same time.
It tastes like a succulent bit of romaine lettuce and
has more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy green.
It is also high in Vitamins A, C, and B."
There are a lot of ways to enjoy purslane and our chefs continue to be inspired.
you could almost bite right into this cluster of apricots
We work hard to use all the fertile beds in the Orchard, 
but the real treasures there, of course are on the trees.
We have 49 trees in the Orchard including multiple varieties 
of peach, nectarine, persimmon, mulberry, plum, pluot, apricot, 
fig, pear and apple trees and one jujube tree! 

we won't be seeing these jujube fruits until the fall 
A pluot is a hybrid plant grown from a plum and an apricot.
They are about 70% plum and 30% apricot and look more like plums than apricots.
They are very sweet!

In our orchard, we have Flavor Queen Pluots, Dapple Dandy, 
Emerald Beauty and Flavor Grenade varieties.  
Pluots are sometimes also referred to as "Dinosaur Eggs" due to the strange dappled coloring on some types of the fruit.

Nearby the pluots and the apricots in the Orchard are our plum trees. 
We have Brooks, Green Sage, Late Santa Rosa, and Tom Cot plum trees. 
Did you know the history of plums dates back to the Roman Empire 
when more than 300 varieties were grown?
Late Santa Rosa plums
While we are enjoying all the summer fruit ripening now in the Orchard, 
we know there are still some gems to come, especially our signature fruit!
the Orchard figs are not quite there yet, but we are patient.
You can always enjoy the popular fig salad at the girl & the fig
but soon we will be making it with the fig "jewels" we harvest at our farm.

photo by Steven Krause for
Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country

What are you doing with the summer fruit you are either growing 
or finding at Farmers Markets these days?

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