Pomegranates are believed to have come from ancient Persia. They are presently grown in portions of the Middle East, such as Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan and also throughout the northern Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
The climate of the interior of Northern Baja California closely approximates those regions. The summers are hot and dry, with limited rainfall during the mostly mild winter months. The photo below shows a hillside above the Seagate farm in the Guadalupe valley northeast of Ensenada. The pomegranate trees with their red fruit are in the center foreground, with olive trees bordering them along the left and right of the photo.
The pomegranate and olive trees resist drought and provide a necessary wind-break to the fertile farm land below. Notice on the far side of the photo, the natural state of this land is a dry desert with low brown shrubs.
The pomegranate fruit have been slowly growing during the summer and have reached their full size by mid-October. The outer skin slowly transforms from pale green to light orange as it slowly ripens.
Finally, a few of the pomegranates are showing their distinct red color indicating they are almost ready for harvest.
The fruit in the picture below has characteristic pinkish-red seeds that are plump and filled with juice. The seeds will further ripen for several more weeks and will become a distinct deep red color.
Seagate harvests these pomegranates at their very peak of being ripe, when the seeds and their juice have the highest antioxidant levels. Seagate uses the entire fruit, including the hull, the seeds and juice, which are all freeze-dried and ground into a powder.
The month of October is also the month when the green olives that formed on the olive trees during the summer are in their transition into the reddish-purple color as they also ripen. In the photo below, there are few green olives remaining on these branches. Most have turned purple in color. By mid-November, these olives will be filled with oil and ready for harvest.
The fish picture of the week is of the Lionfish. This fish originated in Southeast Asia. This species was unintentionally introduced into the Caribbean approximately 17 years ago. As an invasive species, they have no natural predators in this region to control their population growth. Those venomous sharp spines at the tips of all those pretty feather-like fins give it a natural protection from most predators. The lionfish population has spread to the Gulf of Mexico and along the east coast of Florida. It is being blamed for some of the destruction of the natural coral reefs and small fish inhabiting these reefs in this region. Scientists so far have no solution to stop the spread of this fish other than spear-fishing them by local divers.