Orchard Chronicles

Episode 7: Here comes the fruit...(do in doo doo)

Here comes the fruit!  Here comes the fruit!

We have a lot of fruit hanging on trees and growing nicely and starting to ripen.  The heat and drought are not as difficult on our crops as most.  Olives and Pomegranates and Guava are all dry weather trees and actually in some cases do better with dry hot conditions. 

Our Olive Crop is looking very healthy and happy.  We are planning our first harvest and also our VERY FIRST PRESS OF OIL with our new "OLIO MIO" Olive Press in late September.  That is very exciting!

We are putting together a list of those who want to harvest olives with us.  On a harvest day we will be starting at 6 am and harvesting until about 11 am.  Genine will then have a wonderful lunch prepared for us all to enjoy and we will be moving the olives to our Press facility about 5 minutes away and pressing oil the same day.  Anybody who wants to participate would need to commit the whole day.  These are work days and the reward is the fun in the orchards and the lunch and those who work the full day will receive a bottle of fresh cold pressed Olie Nuevo as a gift at the end of the day if you stay for the pressing or later if you have to leave before the pressing but did harvest.  The 6 am start time is a EARLY but that is required.  Let us know if that is of interest by emailing me richmac@macalacompanies.com!

Pomegranates and Guava's and Figs are all doing GREAT. Lots of beautiful fruit.  We have some Pomegranate Jelly and Spread still from last year and it is marked down now for the rest of the year.  Go online to buy some or find a close by vendor or you can watch for our Orchard Market on September 20th from 2 pm to 6 pm and another in October.   We also still have a few jars of our first production of Guava Jam and Guava-Pomegranate Jam available for sale at our online store.  It is great!  Genine will be making our first Fig Jam in the near future and hopefully before the September 20th Orchard Market.

We have great Oregano, Rosemary and Lavender growing and looking good. We do offer those for sale in our website as well as at Orchard Markets. Next one Sunday September 20th. Hope to see you then.

Big news - Rich and Genine harvested 2 bins of our estate grown "old vine Zinfandel" grapes in late July.  We crushed about half of them and fermented and made wine. It is ageing now in a glass carboy.  We think it tastes great and Genine has been slapping me away every time I want to take a glass with our dinner.  We are really please with our work and our learning and our result.  We are hopeful to continue to be able to make wine in future years and to be able to make enough to share with family and friends and harvesters.  The other half of the grapes we harvested will become Genine's first batch of Grape Jelly!!

To a good harvest and production season!  

Episode 6: Not All Flowers Become Fruit

Not all flowers become fruit!

Well we had a fantastic "Bud Break" but I am finding out that again this year "not all flowers become fruit"!  Olive flowers and very infant olives get blown off or washed off during rain or just don't set well for whatever reason.  This has been typical I think in the past although it is disappointing. I think it is normal to a degree.  I also think that drought has impact. Lastly windy and rainy days during fruit set can reduce crop size.

All that said we do have a lot of olives hanging on many of our trees and we are still hopeful for a decent harvest and oil press in October and November.

Pomegranates and Guava's and Figs are all doing GREAT. Lots of beautiful fruit and blossoms.  Gonna be a good year for all that.

Mustard Greens wild and all over the place. We are trying to pull them out before they go to seed. Darn Father Junipero Serra!

We have wired up our juicing and oil pressing room.  We are getting organized for September thru Thanksgiving harvest season.

If you want to know about harvest days and consider working with us on harvest let us know to put you on the email list for notices.  We plan to have 5 or so Friday's or Saturdays where we have a group of "volunteers" work with us and leave with a full belly and some juice or oil. In the past this has been fun and Genine's cooking alone is enough for most to give me 4 or 5 hours of harvesting. 

Email Rich if you want notices of the harvest dates.

We have great Oregano, Rosemary and Lavender growing and looking good. We do offer those for sale in our website as well as at Orchard Markets. Next one Saturday June 20th. Hope to see you then.

Our small first vineyard of "old vine Zinfandel" is taking shape and looking good. Clusters have formed and we will have some grapes and maybe a tiny bit of wine this year. IF I get them netted in time and that works?

Anyway, all is good in the Macala Orchards and Vineyards. We appreciate everybody's support and interest very much.

We love growing healthy things organically and sustainably without GMO seeds or plants.   **See our photo galary with current photos of our orchards below.  Click on the picture to see the next picture.


Episode 2

Hello all, There is a lot going on at Macala Orchards. First and foremost is the birth of our 5th grandchild Luca Uju Macaluso!   

Meanwhile back at the ranch ... 

Our Pomegranate Crop is progressing very nicely. We are already harvesting a few of the early ripening Pomegranates and refrigerating until we have enough to set up our first juicing.  Looks like a good healthy crop this year.

The Guava Orchard is a very happy place with a great number of Guava fruit formed and growing on almost all of our trees.  See a couple of pictures below.

We have been attaching shiny silver ribbon to our Pomegranate and Guava and Fig trees in order to keep birds off of them and from tasting the good fruit.  Also ordered some netting to put over the Guava for bird protection but also other 4 legged critters that might want to try some of them as they are maturing.

We are picking figs lately and they are very good. Getting ready to plant more Fig Trees over the next few months.

We are harvesting oregeno, chives, Italian large leaf basil, thyme, tomatoes of several varieties including San Marzano and Roma, Eggplant (Nonna Genine made the best Eggplant Parmesan ever) and even our first peppers.

If you would like some dried Oregeno fresh let Genine or Nina know.

We have been growing from seeds Meringa Trees (thank you Jamie Kuhn) and we are getting ready to plan a few of them now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa_oleifera we have several starters available that we do not have the capacity to plant right now, so let us know if you would like one.

We hope to take delivery of our new Olive Press in September or October, so let us know if you have an Olive Tree with Olives on it this year and would like to participate in our first Community Press out at our ranch.  This would involve harvesting your olives and bringing them to us at our Ranch near Diamond Valley Lake south of Hemet.  We will mix with all other Olives and everybody will leave with some fresh pressed Olive Oil = Olio Nuevo.

Nonna Genine is busy today in her 'test kitchen' experimenting with Fig Walnut Jam made with our Figs and Walnut Butter.  We are hoping to have enough that there will be a limited supply available for sale?  Let us know if you would like to purchase any.

We are sold out of all other products, EXCEPT FOR POMEGRANATE JELLY.  Go online to order or visit one of our retail vendors listed on the website.  We are currently donating $1 from every jar sold to THE CITY OF HOPE!  The City of Hope holds a special place in our heart as many of our family and friends have been treated there and we are grateful for the good work they do with cancer patients.

Lastly a tribute to Genine's Father Andy Oddi or Pappa D. Here is a picture of Pappa D's firepit out at the Olive Ranch which was literally the first development there when he and I and Gino would camp out there in the late 80's.