Orchard Chronicles

Episode 3

Genine and our Italian friend Vincenzo in front of a 2500 year old olive tree in Melissa, Italy.

Genine and our Italian friend Vincenzo in front of a 2500 year old olive tree in Melissa, Italy.


I am writing this from Italy (the source of Macala inspiration)!  In the coming weeks we will be visiting Calabria, Puglia, Abruzzo and Umbria.  We have family and friends in these four regions. We will also visit orchards, vineyards and mills to see first hand the artisan ways of Italy where Fresh and Simple "slow" food preparation with the best local ingredients is a passion and way of life. 

Rafael has been busy picking our ripening poms almost daily and they are very beautiful as our trees are maturing.  Before we left we were able to juice 8.5 gallons of ruby red pomegranate juice.  We will use this in our new batch of pom jelly and also in our "no sugar added" spread.  Both of these are due out Thanksgiving weekend at our Jelly Stand, which is in one of our orchards, Friday and Saturday after Turkey Day.   Come out and see us either day.  We will have whole fresh Poms for sale also!

Our Guava Orchards are producing many of ripe fruit which Rafael must harvest daily.  We are learning much about this wonderful fruit and Genine will be making our first large scale production of Guava Jam when we return.  We hope to debut that as a new product for sale soon.

We have begun a small oregano and thyme "farm" now and can have fresh or dried herbs for any who want it.   We will have these available at the Thanksgiving weekend Orchard Jelly Stand.

Even though we have no olives or Olive Harvest this year ... We do have our new Olio Mio Olive Mill which was delivered just over a week ago. It is a beautiful "state of the art" machine and perfect for our small boutique Olive Oil production.  It will process 150 lbs of olives per hour into our Gold Medal award winning oil.  Next year we will be able next to harvest in the morning early and press oil immediately for the best results.

Finally Fred has begun to grade and layout our first vineyard and Rafael and I have been pruning and propagating more vines for the greenhouse.  These old vine Zinfandels love it at Villa Macala and are very happy and healthy there.  The grapes seem to be amazing to me and I am anxious to begin to make wine and learn about that process.