Cuyama Orchards Locally Grown Organic Apples
posted on November 3rd, 2017 by John Savidan
Cuyama Orchards is nestled in the uppermost part of the Cuyama Valley in a rugged mountainous corner of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The orchards are surrounded by towering peaks and National Forest. At 3300’ in elevation, and on the interior of the Sierra Madre Coastal mountain range, Cuyama Orchards enjoys ideal weather for growing sweet, crunchy, juicy apples that are bursting with flavor. The warm days late into the fall along with cool crisp nights mean that Howard and Jean Albano (pictured right) can harvest their fruit with a full flavor at the peak of ripeness.
Bristol Farms is proud to feature our local growers from Cuyama Orchards and we look forward the following varieties of apples arriving this fall:
Crimson Gold: Howard’s favorite apple is the Crimson Gold, a tiny little apple discovered over 100 years ago by famed California homesteader/apple grower Alfred Etter, in the rugged hills of Humboldt County. The Crimson Gold is very highly flavored, much sweeter than more modern apples, but loaded with tannins and tartness that makes it truly unique and delicious.
Standard Fuji: Cuyama Orchards is proud to grow the original cultivar of Fuji apples that was introduced from Japan into to the US in the 1980’s. This original cultivar of Fuji is prized for its excellent flavor and crispness, traits that US plant breeders have sacrificed in favor of color and shelf life in the more modern Fuji strains of the past 20 years. It has a thinner skin and creamy yellow flesh that accompany its exceptional sweet and balanced flavor.
Pink Lady: The Pink Lady is the last of the apples to be harvested. This apple, perhaps more than any other variety is perfectly suited to the Southern California coastal Mediterranean which matches the Australian climate where the Pink Lady was discovered. The long growing season is needed to fully ripen the Pink Lady and bring out its full fragrant balanced sweet tart flavor.
Arkansas Black: Cuyama Orchards is re-discovering some the classic American heirloom apples that were mostly lost during the 20th century, and the Arkansas Black is probably the most sought after of these heirlooms. It is tart but also balanced in flavor with a deep purple, almost black skin that matches its complex flavors. This apple was known to last all winter in pioneer’s cellars as it has a thick skin with a heavy natural protective wax.