Friday, January 31, 2014

Another Harvest

Dear Foodies,

A very Happy New Year to you all! I hope you have had a great start to the year. This year seems to be a run to get done though, its already the last day of the month now! So before I break any unmade(!) resolutions  lets get going shall we. I've told you before about Harvest Crops and the great work that they do. Last year they partnered with another fabulous cause - Meals for Hunger. Together they strive to save fruit in the community from goin waste and provide for those that cannot afford it.

This past weekend about 40+ volunteers gathered to pick avocados and other citrus fruit. It was a gorgeous day to be out and we were all raring to go by 9 am on a Sunday morning. We were headed to a house with an abundance of avocados for the season. The very first time I saw an avocado tree was when driving through southern California on a road trip. I mistook them for mango trees and hurriedly stopped by the farm hoping to get hold of fresh mangoes. From them on, we drove past miles and miles of avocado farms. California is said to produce 90% of the local harvest with Southern California contributing close to 60% of that.
So its no surprise that the house we visited had 60+ trees for us to pick. There are more than 50 varieties of avocados grown here with the most popular ones being Hass and Fuerte found in the farmers markets here. I couldn't tell what variety of avocados were grown but there were definitely a few different kinds - some close to 7-8 in and others barely reaching 4 in.  I couldn't spot a single avocado for the first 10-15 mins, going from tree to tree as they blend really well with the dark green leaves and are well hidden under their shade. The blooms are a pale greenish yellow with a grassy fragrance. While moving from one tree to the other we kept thinking there wasn't much fruit to pick, but when it came time for the final harvest photo we had plenty.
Happy Birthday Ma! I know I don't say this enough - Love you! >:D<
We also picked a few pounds of oranges, limes, lemons, grape fruit and kumquats. One of the many reasons I love volunteering for this organization is getting to know the variety for fruit that grows around here. The blooms above are from an almond tree and the mild fragrance from them was truly a breath of fresh air.

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