Sunday, November 28, 2021

Tasting persimmons in November 2021

Five out of the six fruits described here are PVNA (Pollination Variant Non Astringent) type, meaning they need to be pollinated and have seeds to be non-astringent at the hard stage.  The non-pollinated fruits of this type are astringent until completely soft. 

Mike's seedling is always astringent regardless of pollination.  It should be completely soft before consumption.

Watermelon (top left corner) - The pollinated brown fleshed fruit were tasted when crunchy.  These are sweet and chocolate-watermelon flavored. The non-pollinated (the top left fruit) was not completely soft and mostly astringent.  I found this tree a few years ago in Coloma and started propagating it.  The fruits are from my graft.

Zenji Maru (top middle) - very sweet and crunchy, sweet apple flavored.

Wind Machine Chocolate (top right) - These are usually larger in size.  These fruits were exceptionally small, but very sweet and date flavored.  The origin of this accession is a seedling tree at the Otow orchard.

Mike's seedling (bottom left) - This is a seedling of Gosho fruit started by a friend. The fully soft fruits are very sweet.  The fruits tasted today still had a little astringency as they were not completely soft.

Hyakume (bottom middle) - This was a crunchy pollinated fruit. Slightly sweet and complex in flavor with nectarine notes.

Rye Bread (bottom right) - Pollinated crunchy sweet fruits with chocolate-peach flavor.  I found this tree a few years ago in Coloma and started propagating it.  The fruits are from my graft.

Check our sales site if we have the cuttings available

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Cherimoya selection experiment in Vacaville, open ground.


Back in the spring of 2015 I started with 150 cherimoya seedlings in 1 gallon bags. Ninety one plants survived their first summer. About half were up-potted to 5 G pots to go into their first winter. The remaining plants were left in 1 gallon bags.

A couple dozens survivors were planted in ground (by the building wall) in the following spring (2016). More trees died in the following years. Now there are only one strong vigorous tree that bloomed and fruited in 2021. The tree experienced the range of temperatures between 23F - 114F. It grows by the Southern wall and does have some protection from the building.

The first fruit was produced in fall of 2021 without hand pollination. There is another small fruit developing on the tree. The ripe fruit was very pleasant in flavor and sweet, medium in size. I collected all seeds and started germinating them.

I plan to start propagating this tree in spring of 2022.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Tagan II feijoa

 Now on November 12, I still do not see Tagan II forming gel in the middle of the fruits. It might be specific to this cultivar. My tree fruits the first time ever, and the fruits might develop in a different way in the following years.

The fruit form is unusual, irregular with depressed bottom. The flavor is sweet - sour, well balanced but gritty. The ripening period seems to be late. The skin is tough.

Check our sales site if we have the cuttings available

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A tasting of ten white sapote cultivars

 These white sapote fruits were collected from a friend’s orchard on November 6 and tasted on November 7, 2021.

Top rows on both pictures, left to right: 4H4, Fournoy, Lemon Gold, Walton, Santa Cruz.
Bottom row on both pictures, left to right: Malibu #3, Suebelle, Fiesta, 3C2, Rainbow.

4H4 - excellent and complex flavor, very sweet, caramel flavored with a hint of acidity. The skin is very thin but bitter.

Fournoy - pretty good, sweet, soft fleshed, thin skinned. The skin is not bitter.

Lemon Gold - very nice, creamy, caramel flavored, no lemon flavor in this fruit and the skin is not bitter.

Walton - excellent and intense flavored, sweet, custardy, baked milk flavored, the skin is not bitter.

Santa Cruz - the flesh is very soft and melting, sweet and creamy. The skin is very thin but bitter.

Malibu #3 - intense flavor, very sweet and creamy, the skin is not bitter. Very good to excellent fruit.

Suebelle - the flavor is just ok with some funky note in it. The skin is not bitter. 

Fiesta - not particularly sweet, but soft and melting flesh. The skin is bitter. Just an ok fruit for this sample.

3C2 - the flavor is intense and sweet but also has some bitterness in it. The flesh structure is firm and very creamy. The skin is bitter.

Rainbow - excellent flavor, the flesh is firm, very sweet, caramel flavored. The skin is not bitter.

My picks from this tasting are 4H4, Walton, Malibu #3, and Rainbow. 

I suspect that Santa Cruz should be very good too, but the fruits sampled here were overripe and affected by mealybugs. The Fiesta fruit was probably underripe in this sample.

The scions of white sapote cultivars are usually available during the late winter - early spring sale at

Friday, November 5, 2021

Early White Sapote cultivars

 This year, my earliest fruiting cultivar was Redland, I picked two fruits on October 4. I greatly disliked Redland fruits.  They have some very unpleasant medicinal flavor.  I tasted the same flavor in the fruits collected from a friend's tree a couple of weeks later.

On October 30, I harvested a few fruits of Delta Gold (earlier known as Harvey B3, picture below).  These turned out to be excellent fruits. They have a very pleasant intense creamy caramel flavor with thick, but not bitter skin.

On November 4 and 5, I harvested more of Delta Gold and four additional cultivars, see the pictures and descriptions below. These five cultivars are all good to excellent and definitely worth growing. I don't want to give exact scores as these would be based on a few fruits from single trees or grafts. 

The skin is not significant and can be consumed, but I still peel it. Very creamy caramel/milk flavored. 

Lemon Gold
The skin is bitter. More intense than Vernon. Sweet caramel with a hint of lemon.

False Suebelle 
The skin is not bitter. Very soft sweet melting flesh with a hint of acidity.

Delta Gold
The skin is very thick, but not bitter. The flavor is excellent, It is creamy, custardy, caramel flavored, very sweet.

The skin is not bitter, The flavor is pretty intense, sweet creamy caramel. 

The scions of white sapote are usually available during our late winter- early spring sale at

Frost tolerance of Himalayan Mulberries

 The past winter of 2023-2024 was the second test for my Himalayan mulberries frost tolerance. I have five two-years old trees of four culti...