We love trees here at Buttonwood. (Buttonwood is another name for the Sycamore tree). The stately Valley Oaks, the perennially beautiful Live Oaks, our little Palmetto volunteers in the vineyard and the Louisiana Cypress that grace our vineyard pond. But the orchard trees - well, we simply adore them!
The entrance to Buttonwood Farm is graced by almond trees, which herald the arrival of spring with their beautiful blossoms. If we get to the nuts before the crows do, we hand harvest and dry the almonds before having them shelled for consumption. The perfect snack, roasted, salted, herbed or just eaten!
Most famous are the peach trees. As Orchard Manager Fred Munch notes: "With fruit orchards totaling 250 trees, Buttonwood has become known as the Georgia of southern California! Late June brings the Springcrests. There are a whole bunch of crests: Springcrest, Flavorcrest, Suncrest - all different months. The Flavorcrest follows the Springcrest and usually starts the first week in July, and then the third week in July come the Babcock (a white peach) and the Elberta. The fourth week in July brings the Gene Elberta, which lasts until the first week in August. Then in the first week in August we see the Fay Elberta, after which comes the O'Henry, which lasts until the end of August or sometimes up until Labor Day."
The peaches are sold at the farm stand here, as well as local Farmer's Markets. Peach-based goods such as Spicy Peach Chutney, Ginger Peach Preserves and Green Chili Peach Salsa are also produced, for those unfortunate times when you can't get a fresh one. Life's a Peach at Buttonwood!
Pears and Asian pears are also grown, and the pear orchard is now expanding with, as Fred calls them, "new baby trees". Pearhaps there are some pear products in our future?
Across the field is a tree-lined lane, known by us as Olive Lane. Indeed, one side of that road is 25-year olive trees, which ripen their dark bounty in late December and are then pressed into aromatic and farm-flavorful Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The north side of Olive Lane boasts our Pomegranate trees, whose cheerful, ornament-looking fruit ripens around the same time as the olives. December will bring whole Pomegranates to the tasting room and we press the balance for juice (the last pressing at the winery each year!) which finds its way into Pomegranate Jelly, Pomegranate Syrup and Pomegranate Glaze.