July 6, 2005 |
In the overgrown, mixed-up jumble of an orchard at Circle C, the elderly Persian mulberry trees stand apart, each one's long, rubbery limbs propped up by a ring of 6-foot-high sticks whittled to allow the limbs to rest in a crook at the top. These were the first trees planted by Cheng Ja Blain back in the early 1970s, when Circle C was nothing but high desert tumbleweeds and sagebrush, says her husband, Clarence Blain. He has no idea why she planted them.
November 18, 1998 |
With his 1995 Les Cotes Sauvages ("The Wild Hills"), Steve Edmonds has created a California wine that honors the tradition of the southern Rhone's big red wines. It's a blend of Grenache and Syrah from hillside vineyards in Mendocino and Sonoma County, along with some Mourvedre from an old planting in the Mayacamas hills of Napa Valley. Deep purple-red and inky, it is a rustic full-bodied wine with a taste of mulberries and dark plums.
September 7, 1997
If you like fruit--fruit of any kind from mulberries to sapotes--plan on attending the Festival of Fruit being held at the Arboretum of Los Angeles County on Oct. 4. Put on by the California Rare Fruit Growers, the daylong event will feature tastings of fruit, plus noted speakers on a variety of subjects, beginning at 9 a.m. There will be talks on rare fruits from around the world, including mulberries and papaws, on pollination problems and bees, and on Luther Burbank.
July 26, 2006 |
Peak season Melons: As if all those triple-digit temperatures weren't enough to clue you in, the markets are awash in melons -- one of the surest signs that we have hit the heart of summer. How do you pick a good one? It depends. There are two main families of melons: those with rough, netted or reticulated rinds (muskmelons, cantaloupes, etc.) and those whose rinds are baby-smooth (such as honeydew). With the netted melons, the best indicator is smell: They should be intensely perfumed.
July 19, 2000 |
The mulberry family (Moraceae) includes diverse crops such as figs, breadfruit, jackfruit and hemp. Of the 12 species of mulberries, three--black, red and white--are of greatest interest. Black or Persian Mulberry (Morus nigra). Native to Western Asia, grown for fruit in Europe since Roman times. Tree slow-growing, smallest of the three main species, sometimes reaches 20 to 30 feet but tends to be a bush if not trained when young.
July 19, 2000 |
Long before the current vogue for mulberries in California, waves of mulberry mania swept across America, based on the cultivation of mulberry leaves as fodder for silkworms. Silk culture began in ancient China, homeland of the white mulberry (Morus alba), the chief food of silkworms; over the centuries it spread across Asia to southern Europe. In 1609, King James I ordered the planting of 100,000 mulberry trees around England in an attempt to develop a silk industry.
April 29, 2011 |
Late April and early May is a challenging, in-between time for fruit lovers. The citrus harvest is winding down, and prime stone fruit is still several weeks off. At no season is it more important for mindful shoppers to discern mediocre from worthwhile offerings and perhaps even venture afield from farmers markets to obtain certain specialty items. No crop is more eagerly awaited than cherries, which just started showing up last week at a few farmers markets. The very first pickings and the earliest varieties are not generally the best, and the cool weather in the San Joaquin Valley until recently has delayed the harvest by a week or so. The Royal Kay cherries that Steve Murray of Murray Family Farms brought to the Santa Monica farmers market on Wednesday were soft and light-colored, and so-so in flavor, he admitted.