At Bella Viva we have the best stone fruit around! This doesn’t happen by accident. Our team diligently cares for the trees all year, from soil and leaf testing to fertilizing and amending and finally pruning and thinning. Currently we are hard at work thinning the trees that will soon bare delicious stone fruit. This process ensures the maximum flavor, sweetness and size of each and every fruit left on the tree. Our passion for quality also means waiting for our apricots, plums, peaches and nectarines to reach their peak, prior to harvest. Last but certainly not least, proprietary drying methods lock in the fresh flavor for year round enjoyment. So come on down to the store or order online and enjoy the good life! Check out our April Web Specials!
Thinning For The Perfect Fruit
Every year the trees throughout our orchards are pruned and thinned as we endeavor to whip them into shape, since both are important factors in fruit quality. Pruning limits the number of buds per branch and ensures that each bud is bathed in the California sunshine. While thinning physically limits fruit production per tree. Proper thinning leads to sweeter, larger and more flavorful fruit. Usually, we aim for 300-1500 fruits per tree depending on the variety. The space between fruit on the branch is also a concern. Peaches for example should be about eight to twelve inches apart. Thinning can range from removing 90% of the fruit to none at all.
Stone Fruits – A Brief Insight
Stone fruits are known for their thick juicy flesh and hard pit. They are divided into free and cling stone varieties. Their names are self-explanatory; freestones are often used for home canning because they can be easily prepared by hand. Commercial canneries tend to use clingstones, but machines are needed since those stones just don’t want to let go of their juicy treasure (Clemson). Many people know that peaches and nectarines are closely related, the only difference being the skin either fuzzy or smooth, respectively. But you may be surprised to learn that peaches and almonds are in fact close cousins. The similarity lies in the part of the plant that we eat. With peaches the edible part is the “seed pod” or exterior and with almonds it is the inner pit. At Bella Viva we strive for sustainability; for example our un-used apricot pits are used to produce anything from amaretto to cosmetics. In addition, the almond hull is used for cattle feed.