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The Sugar and Science of a Elegant Nectarine – Frog Hole Farm


Once you sink your tooth into the graceful, crimson pores and skin of a Frog Hole Farm nectarine, and juice is operating down your chin, science might be the very last thing in your thoughts. However there’s fairly a little bit of science behind these moments of pure, candy summer time bliss.

Begin on the finish

A refractometer is a helpful software that farmers use to seek out brix, or the measure of sugar, in a ripe piece of fruit. A traditional piece of fruit registers a few 10 or 11 on the refractometer, 12 if you happen to’re fortunate. 


Farmer Al doesn’t even begin selecting our fruit till brix readings are at 14 or 15. And most of our nectarine varieties are coming in round 18 to 22! Meaning a Frog Hole Fruit nectarine is more likely to be 50 p.c sweeter than what’s commercially obtainable.

Overachieving nectarines

Do you know that nectarines are peaches that lack the gene for fuzz? Farmer Al has all the time regarded for prime brix nectarine varieties to develop, and that’s an enormous a part of our juicy success. He’s enthusiastic about this yr’s crop – it’s going to be significantly better than final yr’s, and there are new orchards coming into manufacturing. He’s trying ahead to the harvest of our Sweet Pearl and Majestic Pearl – two white nectarine varieties – in late June. 

Enhancing the sugar

Excessive brix varieties are an excellent place to begin, and our location and farming strategies push sugar content material even increased. Nectarines want heat days and funky nights to flourish. We now have each in Brentwood, with our location close to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The temperature differential between the new summer time days and funky delta evenings helps make our fruit even sweeter. 

We assist Mom Nature alongside through the use of compost, and with our pruning and thinning strategies. We additionally depart fruit on the tree to ripen longer, which permits the sugar to develop extra absolutely. 

An natural problem

Rising natural nectarines is hard. Nectarine bushes are very inclined to thrips, an insect that grazes on fruit pores and skin, scarring it. When the fruit grows, the scar turns into an enormous, ugly blemish on the pores and skin. We management the thrips with an natural materials that kills them. Brown rot is one other menace – it’s a fungus. We use compost tea to regulate brown rot. Compost tea is tough to make and use, and it requires exact planning and training. One other story for one more time!

Merely put: We farm within the good place for nectarines, and we nurture the earth, the tree and the fruit to develop a full vary of flavors. Seize a stack of napkins and a Frog Hole Farm nectarine and have an important summer time!

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