16229 E. Copperopolis Road
Linden, CA 95236
First of the Season
The first crop of cherries arrived at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market on May 15th! They were brought by Jim Paoletti, whose orchards are about 10 miles east of Stockton. Though there was some concern that the pounding rains brought by La Niņa and freezing temperatures during the flowering season would reduce this year's harvest, Jim says his orchards survived quite well and he expects a normal harvest this year. This means that he'll be selling one or more of his six varieties from mid-May through the end of July. Then he'll return to the Market in October and November with his harvest of chestnuts.
Not for sale
About Tartarran Cherries
Although the Tartarran variety appears on the Paoletti Farms list of produce, Jim says that it is grown mainly to attract bees to pollinate the other varieties of cherry trees and not for consumption. However, he notes that this jet black cherry is intensely sweet, though very small. Because its flesh is very soft, it bleeds easily, leaving red stains wherever it goes so it tends not to be very popular with shoppers. Also it rots quickly. Jim is willing to take special orders from customers to bring this variety to Market, when it's in season in late June and early July. It makes exquisite jams, but it does require very careful handling to prevent staining anything that it touches. If you wish to place an order with Jim, drop by his stand at the Market the week before you want delivery or give him a call at his farm during the week.
90 Years and Going Strong
Jim Paoletti is the third generation to run the family orchards. His grandfather, who emigrated from Genoa, Italy to the Stockton area, planted the Paoletti's first cherry trees more than 90 years ago! Jim and his father now tend 25 acres of orchards on the same farm that was started in the early 1900's.
Cherries for Health
Cherries may be on the road to becoming a "wonder drug"! According to Jim, eating fresh cherries or drinking fresh cherry juice alleviates the discomfort of arthritis. In a completely different health area, the April 24, 1999 issue of Science News carries an article entitled "Well Done Research", which points out that adding cherries to ground meat or even to a marinade will inhibit the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) when the meat is charred over the barbecue. According to the article, research conducted by food scientist J. Ian Gray at Michigan State University has proven that tart cherries carry pigments which constitute "the most effective antioxidant [for meats] that I have ever seen" .
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