Thursday Nov 01 2012 comments Otow Orchard in Granite Bay By: Anne Stokes, Press Tribune Correspondent -A +A Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneJoshua Bingham, 15, and Aviana Petrikin, 13, of Auburn snack on pears from Otow Orchard at the Granite Bay farm's open house. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneHachiya persimmons drying in the sun at Otow Orchards in Granite Bay. The labor-intensive process can take one to two months of drying and processing, depending on the weather. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneAlison Harris offers Lara Khan and daughter Ella of Citrus Heights, left, a taste of dried Hachiya persimmons at the Otow Orchard's open house tour in Granite Bay. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneTosh Kuratomi demonstrates the Hachiya persimmon drying process at Otow Orchard's open house in Granite Bay. Kuratomi's family farm is one of the few that takes on the traditional and labor-intensive process, making their dried persimmons highly prized. Anne Stokes/The Press Tribune Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneChristy Kuratomi rings up customers at the Otow Orchard's fruit shop. Anne Stokes/The Press TribunePlacer County master gardener Mary Lou Meredith picks up a pair of pears at Otow Orchard's fruit stand during the Granite Bay farm's open house. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneOtow Orchards in Granite Bay has made an effort to employ sustainable and organic farming practices since 2006, including the use of earthworms to improve soil quality. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneJulie Steele of Fair Oaks gives a demonstration on earthworm cultivation at Otow Orchards in Granite Bay. The 40 acre farm, which has been in the same family for 101 years, made a shift in 2006 to focus on sustainable and organic farming methods. Anne Stokes/The Press TribuneHachiya persimmons in degrees of drying at Otow Orchards in Granite Bay. The labor-intensive process can take a month or two, depending on the season and weather conditions. After harvesting, the peeled fruit spends about a week drying in the late summer heat and is then transferred inside to air dry for a few weeks. The fruit must be routinely "massaged" to promote even drying and avoid mold (the white on the finished product is the fruit's natural sugar). Otow Orchard was featured on the Placer Farm & Barn Tour in October, where the Hachiya persimmon drying process was demonstrated.