As harvest time ramps up, it is critical to take stock of what’s in your pantry and how you are going to use all that culinary gold. Having a deep freeze big enough for a body used to be the norm, but now, people often stock up for the week or even month from the grocery store.
Buying seasonally is a little different, and Chaffin Farms is great at keeping people updated to what’s really in season. With constant emails, Chris Kerston is able to keep us all updated on the progress of mandarins, stone-fruit, cattle, chicken, and of course, Butte County’s favorite form of liquid gold, olive oil.
He is also able to let us know about the conditions that are causing a glut in the market, or in this case, a potential shortfall, that affects price fluctuation, allowing Mr. Kerston to take proactive measures to assure that prices remain reasonable. In his most recent email, Chris says “During the rather wet and cold past spring we lost most of our summer stonefruit crop, much of our upcoming winter citrus crop, and about 70% of our next olive crop. So we’ll still have olives to press into oil but we’ll most likely be looking at a much lower supply.”
The futures have helped with this a bit, but he also says that picking expenses are going up, and so when they harvest the olives in January, it will take a lot longer to get a lot less fruit, so he recommends taking advantage of his current sale price on Mid-Season, 2 gallons for $89 until October 8th, when the price returns to $104.99.
Of course you can also get other products at Chaffin Farm’s booth on Saturday mornings: be sure to ask about the unpoming chicken harvest so you can stock that deep freeze with hearty, delicious, free-range heritage chicken, or maybe they will still have some stone-fruit left. The grass-fed hamburger and steaks are incredible, too. You would be impressed by the hillsides the cattle and goats roam around.
There are many benefits to supporting Chaffin Farms. First, it keeps the money in our community, and supports our local farmers. Second, because they practice Permaculture, they don’t need to use pesticides and fertilizers, so the food is incredibly natural, without any toxins. Third, Chaffin Family Orchards believes in community, and is continuously hosting school groups, informational meetings, and fundraisers, while also supporting their fellow family farmers.
Chaffin Farms is located just off the juncture between Chico and Oroville where it meets highway 70. You can go to their website to place orders or see them at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Chico. They will be taking the next two weeks off from Nevada City’s Farmer’s Market.