7th Fruit Delivery: week of Sept 10, 2012
We have followed the fabulous Colorado peach season from early varieties to this weeks late season varieties Cresthaven and Angelous. We are thankful that Brant and Carol with over 33 years in the orchard keep renewing their orchard with varieties that give consistent production throughout the season. These are likely the last organic Colorado peaches you’ll see this year so enjoy. The local apple crop was severely reduced when we had an early Spring that pushed the trees to flower and then a freeze right when the trees were flowering. Harry and Jackie who we get most of our local organic apples from will have none for us this year. They will be making value added cider and jams with the small crop that survived the freeze. We hope all our families with kids got settled back into their new school schedule and will be taking tasty organic fruit snacks to school and work.
Thank you and Enjoy,
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare™
What’s In Your Box?
Colorado Bartlett pears
Storage and Ripening
The peaches should be left on the counter at room temperature. Remember to keep an eye on your Colorado peaches so they don’t become overripe. They should become soft to thumb pressure in about 1-4 days, depending on the peach. If your peaches are soft to gentle pressure but you’re not able to eat them right away, put some in the refrigerator to keep for a few extra days, but never put a peach in your refrigerator before it gives to thumb pressure. Temperatures between 37-50 degrees F can cause mealy peaches, so keep them at 51-77 F for that critical conditioning phase before eating. Your Bartlett pears will take between 2-5 days to give to thumb pressure by the stem and then enjoy them. Bartlett’s will turn yellow as a sign of being ready to eat too. To speed up their ripening process you can place some in a paper bag with a banana, but remember to check them every day. The banana gives off ethylene gas that ripens fruit faster. You avocados should be kept on the counter too. They should be ready to give to thumb pressure at the stem end in 3-5 days. Keep your apples and grapes in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They are ready to eat right away. They will stay freshest when stored as cold as 34 degrees F. Place a paper towel in the bag with the grapes to soak up any condensation that may occur. Eat your grapes first. Your apples and pears will keep the longest, and peaches should be eaten up as soon as they are ready.
What It Takes
Five years ago, Eric and Rosemerry quit their respective careers to become orchardists on the western slope of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Eric was a builder and project manager, while Rosemerry was a poet and teacher. Over the years, they had taken notice of some beautiful rural land with an orchard, which had fallen into disrepair. They couldn’t get this piece of land out of their minds. With the intention of fixing up the buildings and re-selling it, Eric and Rosemerry bought the land in 2007. Instead, they fell in love with the idea of starting their own orchard, and soon that dream became a reality. Now, they are raising their two young children and taking care of their 75 acres of fruit trees. After five years of hard work, they are harvesting some beautiful organic crops. The Bartlett pears in your box are some of the first of the 2012 harvest. Though the fruit is small, it is very sweet because of the cool mountain nights that create more sugar than fruit that is grown in climates that don’t have these “chill hours.”
The Colorado peaches continue to come from Brant and Carol as we move through the varieties that mature at different times throughout early August and into mid-September. We like to get you as many of these as we can because when the peaches are ready in Colorado there are few things that can compare! Please remember to follow the final ripening suggestions we provide in the top of the newsletter. The 33 years of experience that Brant has as an orchardist simply produces the best peaches. Now that few peaches are coming off the trees. Brant and his crew are taking the time to clean up the orchard and fertilize the trees with compost. It is a slow process driving the tractor and trailer through the orchard and throwing several shovel fulls of compost around each tree.
The Gala apples this week come from Adolfo in Prosser, Washington. He has truly worked his way up through the ranks of farming to get where his is today. Adolfo began his career by picking asparagus in the fields, and soon he was driving a truck through the orchard hauling chemicals and equipment among the fruit trees. In time, he became an orchard foreman, and finally a manager, all the while imagining how he would do things differently if he owned his own orchard. Ten years later, that dream is a reality, and Adolfo is the owner of 200 acres of organic fruit trees. He does it for the kids – his own and those of his workers – so that they are not exposed to dangerous chemicals. Instead, Adolfo harnesses nature’s power to grow his fruit and keep it free of pests by using beneficial insects and the intricacies of the orchard’s ecosystem. All of this hard work will be apparent in each and every delicious bite of fruit you taste.
The green grapes in your box are of the Thompson variety, and come from Joe and Johnni of Three Sisters Farm. Located near Fresno, CA, they use beneficial grasses and flowers – especially poppies – as cover crops, making their vineyard exceptionally beautiful. Three Sisters has been certified organic since 1981, but even before Joe and Johnni began farming, Joe’s parents owned the farm. These are some of the sweetest green grapes you will ever find.
You’ll also find avocados in your box this week. They come from Will and Billy at Las Palmalitas Ranch. The Ranch has been in their family since the 1880s.
Health and Wellness
Most kids went back to school last week, and though it is a busy time of year, this is when to start building good habits for the rest of the year. Send your kids to school with fresh fruit in their lunches every day. It is filling and nutritious, and will help them stay focused throughout the day. A good tip is to include the tougher fruit in lunch boxes because it will hold up better until lunch time. If you want to send softer fruit like peaches, make sure to put them in a hard-sided container with some paper towels for padding and clean up. Apples, grapes and pears are excellent types of fruit to include in lunches. If you slice apples or pears remember to squeeze a little lemon (citric acid) on them to keep them from browning (oxidizing).
Fresh Grape n’ Pear Guacamole
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
15 red seedless grapes, halved
2 ripe pears, sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5 blanched almonds
1 tsp. sesame seeds
2 Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
Greek plain yogurt, for topping
Lime zest, for topping
Combine all ingredients in a food processor; blend until desired consistency. Transfer to serving dishes. Serve chilled with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt and a sprinkle of lime zest on top.
Courtesy of thehealthyapple.com