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Black jacks and brown turkeys

Summer crop report

Cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, growing at Eden Tropics farm in De Luz
Cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, growing at Eden Tropics farm in De Luz

Summer crops are coming into full swing, meaning heirloom tomatoes are on the way. On the sweeter side, stone fruits will be joined by melons as the month goes on, with sweet and spicy peppers showing up in greater varieties.

Adam Maciel Organic Farm has most of these covered. The Bonsall farm sticks to heirloom cherry tomatoes, offering single varieties or a colorful mix of red, yellow, purple, and green. Other colorful mixes it’s bringing to its market stands are sweet peppers and baby bells. It will also offer poblano peppers, milder Anaheims, and spicier jalapeños.

Later in the month, Maciel expects melons to be ripe, included seeded watermelons, cantaloupes, and ananas cantaloupes, a flavorful oval variety known for pale, aromatic flesh. It’s also offering three kinds of fig: mission, black jack, and brown turkey. Black jacks are larger and darker than mission, though similarly sweet. Brown turkeys are less so, but great for baking with prosciutto or bacon.

Over in Valley Center, Stehly Farms sees brandywine and purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes turning up. They’ll also be bringing sweet white corn and later in the month anticipate an early appearance of the exotic superfood dragon fruit, also called pitaya. Most exciting to avocado fans is that Stehly reports the arrival this month of Reed season! The large, round, green avocados are exceptionally creamy and delicious, and hopefully will be around throughout the summer.

Down in Imperial Beach, Suzie’s Farm also has black Cherokee heirloom tomatoes and the beautiful Russian varietal known as black from tula — known for darkening skin and rich red flesh. Suzie’s Early Girl tomatoes are dry-farmed, meaning they ripen without being watered, resulting in denser, sweeter fruit. Suzie’s also heralds the arrival of five kinds of muskmelon (cantloupes and honeydews) and three types of eggplant.

Eden Tropics always has interesting fruit, and July is no different. Stonefruit such as plums, peaches, and nectarines are joined by tropicals mango and passionfruit. They have fresh figs as well, and the more unusual sapotes, which don’t often retail due to short shelf life. The sapote’s creamy flesh is often compared to flan or pudding. Also notable are cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, taken from the same cactus as nopales.

Second-generation farm Eden Tropics sits just past Fallbrook, straddling De Luz and Temecula at the county’s northern border. Its elevation and coastal air flow gives Eden a unique local microclimate: about ten degrees cooler than most in the summer, warmer in the winter. Consequently, the 20-year-old farm’s crops differ from many in SoCal, and rather than limit its focus, the Ayoub family that owns the farm has decided to shoot for crop diversity, resulting in smaller seasonal harvests of tropical fruits, stone fruit, berries, fresh olives, melons, grapes, figs, and nuts.

Eden crops provide food to local school districts, and while it recently stopped participating at Little Italy’s Saturday market, its unique fare may still be found at weekly markets in Rancho Peñasquitos on Saturday, La Jolla on Sunday.

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Cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, growing at Eden Tropics farm in De Luz
Cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, growing at Eden Tropics farm in De Luz

Summer crops are coming into full swing, meaning heirloom tomatoes are on the way. On the sweeter side, stone fruits will be joined by melons as the month goes on, with sweet and spicy peppers showing up in greater varieties.

Adam Maciel Organic Farm has most of these covered. The Bonsall farm sticks to heirloom cherry tomatoes, offering single varieties or a colorful mix of red, yellow, purple, and green. Other colorful mixes it’s bringing to its market stands are sweet peppers and baby bells. It will also offer poblano peppers, milder Anaheims, and spicier jalapeños.

Later in the month, Maciel expects melons to be ripe, included seeded watermelons, cantaloupes, and ananas cantaloupes, a flavorful oval variety known for pale, aromatic flesh. It’s also offering three kinds of fig: mission, black jack, and brown turkey. Black jacks are larger and darker than mission, though similarly sweet. Brown turkeys are less so, but great for baking with prosciutto or bacon.

Over in Valley Center, Stehly Farms sees brandywine and purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes turning up. They’ll also be bringing sweet white corn and later in the month anticipate an early appearance of the exotic superfood dragon fruit, also called pitaya. Most exciting to avocado fans is that Stehly reports the arrival this month of Reed season! The large, round, green avocados are exceptionally creamy and delicious, and hopefully will be around throughout the summer.

Down in Imperial Beach, Suzie’s Farm also has black Cherokee heirloom tomatoes and the beautiful Russian varietal known as black from tula — known for darkening skin and rich red flesh. Suzie’s Early Girl tomatoes are dry-farmed, meaning they ripen without being watered, resulting in denser, sweeter fruit. Suzie’s also heralds the arrival of five kinds of muskmelon (cantloupes and honeydews) and three types of eggplant.

Eden Tropics always has interesting fruit, and July is no different. Stonefruit such as plums, peaches, and nectarines are joined by tropicals mango and passionfruit. They have fresh figs as well, and the more unusual sapotes, which don’t often retail due to short shelf life. The sapote’s creamy flesh is often compared to flan or pudding. Also notable are cactus fruit, aka prickly pears, taken from the same cactus as nopales.

Second-generation farm Eden Tropics sits just past Fallbrook, straddling De Luz and Temecula at the county’s northern border. Its elevation and coastal air flow gives Eden a unique local microclimate: about ten degrees cooler than most in the summer, warmer in the winter. Consequently, the 20-year-old farm’s crops differ from many in SoCal, and rather than limit its focus, the Ayoub family that owns the farm has decided to shoot for crop diversity, resulting in smaller seasonal harvests of tropical fruits, stone fruit, berries, fresh olives, melons, grapes, figs, and nuts.

Eden crops provide food to local school districts, and while it recently stopped participating at Little Italy’s Saturday market, its unique fare may still be found at weekly markets in Rancho Peñasquitos on Saturday, La Jolla on Sunday.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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