The crispness of fall is finally in the air on our farms, and that means we’re cooking up all of our fall favorites in our farm kitchen! One of our favorite holidays around here just so happens to be Halloween, and we’ve got some ideas for healthier Halloween treats featuring grapes from HMC Farms! These treats are kid and adult approved, so gather the whole family and swap out sugary sweets for nature’s candy!
Looking for the perfect snack for your favorite Halloween movie? Whip up a bowl of these monster eyes! This almost-too-cute-to-eat snack is simply HMC Farms green seedless grapes topped with candy eyes (trust us, the plastic googly eyes don’t taste good, so please don’t eat them). To stick the candy eyes to the grapes, use a small dab of your favorite nut butter or icing. Get the monster eye look by just adding candy eyes to the top layer of grapes, it’s tough to keep them stuck to the grapes on the bottom layer.
Having a full on Halloween movie marathon or party? Try this Halloween snack board! We used the bowl of monster eyes for the center, and surrounded them with HMC Farms red seedless grapes, ghost & bat veggie chips, string cheese ghosts, cheddar jack-o-lanterns, pretzels, almonds, and candy bones. We achieved the string cheese ghost and cheddar jack-o-lantern looks by using a permanent marker on the plastic wrappers. If you want to draw directly on the cheese, be sure to use a food-safe marker! You can easily add some spooky salami to this board, or swap the cheddar rounds for mandarins, but the monster eyes are a must!
If you look at our Halloween snack board and imagine your children fighting over the same string cheese ghost, or if the thought of other people’s hands touching your food haunts your dreams, try a charcuterie assortment! This is a perfect way to offer snacks to a skeleton crew, or a whole mob of zombies in your backyard. It’s also a great way to have the kids help put snacks together – let them wash and dry their favorite color of HMC Farms grapes and fill up their jar while older kids or adults create the salami & cheese skewers and strong cheese ghosts.
The jarcuterie is perfectly portable for a treat yo-self moment in your bathtub with a glass of wine, or for watching your favorite celebrities learn to dance on television.
If you’re using HMC Farms grapes in your Halloween snacks, be sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram!
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Why not celebrate with your favorite grapes? Find a free download of these valentines by clicking on the image below. You can print these out to hand out, or crop and send digitally for a socially distanced Valentine’s Day!
The Fourth of July not only celebrates the independence of our country, but it also marks the “spiritual” half way mark of the stone fruit season, and is the historically referenced start date for grape harvest in our area. The first six weeks of the season definitely require the most effort. We are generally still thinning through early June while picking the most temperamental and time sensitive varieties of the season. The Fourth of July is a point in time at which we reflect, look forward, and take a quick break with our families. We hope you had a moment to relax and celebrate over the holiday (hopefully with a peach in hand).
This month, we used Cane Cutters in our table grape vineyards. This equipment cuts excess growth in the centers of the rows with blades that form an upside down V shape in order to increase sunlight and air flow. Increased sunlight helps our red and black seedless grape varieties gain color, and extra air flow helps to prevent disease pressure in grape clusters and vines.
HMC Farms table grape harvest is now underway in our vineyards, kicking off our table grape season! Overnight lows have remained under 70°F, which is great for color development in our red and black seedless table grape varieties.
HMC Farms regularly monitors soil moisture to ensure that we are providing the proper amount of irrigation to our trees and vines. We combine several sources of information from physical examination to sensors, and even the weather forecast, to determine the proper frequency and duration of irrigation. This topic was featured in our Farm Friday Instagram story, a weekly behind the scenes look at what’s happening at HMC Farms. Find us on Instagram here, and follow along with our Farm Fridays!
It’s been a vintage year so far for California stone fruit. We have received more than normal complimentary letters about the great tasting stone fruit. Newer varieties and a discipline to only pick the most mature fruit has put these summertime favorites back on top. We are half way through the season and should have good eating well into September.
Holiday plums are here! We wait all year for this HMC Farms proprietary red plum that has green undertones, speckled skin, and a sweet and distinctive flavor. Contact your HMC Farms salesperson for more information on availability.
Harvest is slowing for HMC Farms tree fruit. Scarlet Royal and Krissy red seedless table grapes and Autumn King green seedless table grapes are in harvest. Timco and Allison red seedless grapes will harvest soon. The forecast shows high temperatures ranging from the low 80s to the low 90s. We are closely monitoring any chances of early rain, which tend to pop up in the second half of September.