At Jon Rowley’s memorial in January of 2018 I had the pleasure to meet the one the only Farmer Al of Frog Hollow. You guys might know his world famous peaches from Met Market’s Peach-O-Rama every summer (the daily average and highest Brix readings are part of the grocery store signs) or from their presence at the Ferry Building Farmers Market in SF. I’ve admired his stone fruit for a long time (best smoothie I ever had was blendered Frog Hollow yellow nectarine, Frog Hollow almond milk and ice) and I’m originally from the other side of Mt. Diablo from his farm. This summer when I was back home in Alamo for my mom’s birthday party I reached out to Farmer Al to take him up on his offer of a trade of my wine for a box of stone fruit.
Boy, did I score - not only were the yellow and white peaches and nectarines totally delicious and dead ripe and perfect for mom’s birthday dessert with vanilla Strauss ice cream but I discovered that I love pluots, specifically the plum apricot hybrid called Flavor King.
Farmer Al taught us a lot about both the heirloom varieties that he cultivates in Brentwood as well as new fangled hybrids made by Floyd Zaigler at Zaigler Genetics in Modesto. Apparently there are “sweetness tours” offered at Zaigler’s farm - I would love to visit next time I’m in that part of California. The Flavor King is more plum than apricot and is a result of a complicated cross between Santa Rosa Plum and apriums (apricot-plum hybrids). The season is late July - beginning of August typically - have a taste.