As we savor the Technicolor show that our persimmon tree is putting on to remind us that fall is leaving, we await the moment when they become ripe. There are 4 types of persimmons and ours is Hachiya. “The custardy flesh of a Hachiya, soft and squishy as jelly when it is ripe, makes a sweet, candy-like dessert. Those lucky enough to have a bountiful tree in their yard might even have enough to be able to save the flesh and freeze it for use throughout the year. We must patiently wait until it is ripe, and then dig into the gelatinous goo. But woe is you if you try to eat a Hachiya before its time. This is known as an astringent variety, which means it will be bitter, unpleasant and maybe even painful unless it is perfectly, squishy-ripe. It will suck the spit right out of your mouth with its soluble tannins. You have been warned. But when it IS ripe, you have also been warned that you might become addicted; that’s how good it is.”
These are not the type of persimmons to be dried, but we are going to experiment with canning/jamming them. If in Sonoma, stop on by to help us harvest and take some home.
No…. these are not olives (though we do have 1 olive tree)-- they are the last of the harvest of our purple tomatillos. Thanks Cooper for meticulously harvesting a basket of them. Note to readers, just rinse them off and freeze in a plastic bag for use later in the year.
Also, we anticipate one more batch of figs from our magnificent fig…. so 6 months of delicious black mission figs are earning this tree the distinction of being named the Queen of Canappela Farm!
Canappela Farm came to us with its own voice/style-- that of a farmhouse reimagined. The 1-acre property was built in 1958 by a retired San Francisco fireman and according to my neighbor and one of his best friends, he lovingly planted 10 walnut trees (2 different types and while we love the black walnuts, he preferred the larger variety in our front yard) and he also tended the very old fig tree carefully on the property so that it’s now truly a spectacular specimen. His favorite was the persimmon tree, which now that it’s early November, I can see why (see photo below). At various points in time, the property has also housed animals and I noticed in photos as recent as 5 years ago, there were animal pens where there are now raised vegetable beds. In addition, we have a lovely potting shed and well room with a good size storage area. Plans are to install a few chickens in the back and enclose them in a spiffy chicken coop so the local “vermin” don’t get them.
We haven’t totally decided what to do with the very large space that we call the “barn,” but I was told by our neighbor that it’s actually 2 portable school classrooms and has served many purposes through the years.
As I designed the addition to the house and the pool house, I decided to stay with the Farmhouse design theme that if Pinterest is any indication, seems to be the style du jour. I can honestly say that I inherited the aesthetic and the more time I spend with the design, the happier I am that we have this and not some Mediterranean knock-off that is so prevalent in Sonoma. I swear by this book and it’s guided much of my decision-making through the design phase: The Farmhouse: New Inspiration for the Classic American Home, Sept. 2006.