Orchard Chronicles

Episode 1

Hello Friends of Macala Orchards ... 

We are in the middle of an interesting growing season.

Our pomegranate trees and crop are doing very well. Another year older and more mature.  We have successfully relocated 37 pom trees from a property we sold to Villa Macala our main orchard. Together with 14 propagated trees that were growing in our small green house we have a new "Circle Pomegranate Orchard" at Villa Macala.  The trees love their new location!

We also have a line of young pomegranate trees lining the driveway of Villa Macala planted this past few months from the same propagation effort.

We are almost sold out of our new Pomegranate Spread (no sugar added).  We will be selling our traditional Pomegranate Jelly right through the harvest of the new crop.

Our Guava Orchard has sprung into a prolific bearing season with a "plethora" of young small guava fruit hanging on our guava trees.  We have attached shiny ribbon to the branches to ward off birds and are hoping to cover the small orchard with netting to further protect from critters.  We will be experimenting with how to use the guava's this year and most likely not have any commercial offerings.  Friends and family will hopefully get to taste whatever 'Nonna' Genine and Nina decide to do with our fruit if we have a successful harvest.

Our small start to a 5 tree fig orchard is bearing nicely and we have 5 more trees in the green house waiting to be planted.  Experimenting with watering volume and keeping birds and other critters from eating these.

Sad Story #1 - our 'old vine' Zinfandel plants and propagation effort has been very successful and the vines love the soil and "terroir" at Villa Macala.  We had the two "Mother Vines" produce a wonderful volume of beautiful clusters of grapes that were starting to ripen early with the great sunshine this spring and summer. I had the refractometer out and had purchased my first "home wine-making" kit.  Alas, 2 weeks ago ... coyotes or deer found my grapes and ate every last one of them one Sunday when no one was there.  Fencing around our Vineyards will be necessary and maybe netting over them.  We know we can produce great Zinfandel wine grapes though and I am excited about the future of that.

Sad Story #2 - Our olive trees have produced almost no olives this year. Due to the alternating production nature of olive trees and the drought as well as our decision not to heavily irrigate we will not produce much olive oil this year and none commercially.  Our trees are very healthy and happy and sending down deep strong root systems for future years.  That portends good things in the future for Macala Olive Oil.

Meanwhile I had purchased our first olive oil press from Olio Mio (made in Italy) and we will take delivery in September most likely.  We will host a "press day" and invite anyone who wants to to bring their olives to us on that day (fresh harvested that morning) to press oil and share the results.

We are very excited about the continued growth of our orchards and vineyards.  We continue to follow all organic growing methods and have decided the time is right to apply for certification of our orchards.  A lot of work to apply and we hope to have it done and in and approved in time for this year’s crop and production.

Thanks to all for your support and encouragement as we continue down this path of being boutique local organic growers and food producers.