2nd Fruit Delivery: June 29th, 30th, and July 2nd, 2011

This week we have Oranges, Pears, Apples, Nectarines, Plums, Kiwi, Limes, Mangoes, Pineapple, and a Lemon.

Valencia Oranges this week are from Homegrown Organic Farms in CA. Valencias are the world’s most important commercial variety, and the success of this crop in Southern California led to the naming of Orange County, California. Valencias are excellent juicers. Store oranges in a cool place outside the refrigerator and try to eat them within a few days. If you need to keep them longer, refrigerate in a plastic bag or in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator.

Packham Pears are from Sol Bio in Argentina. Come fall, you’ll have tons of local apples and

Packham Pears

pears! Meanwhile, all US apples have been sitting in cold storage since last fall – and their flavor and texture is not very good this long after harvest. Packham Pears were first developed in Australia by Henry Packham around 1900. They are a bumpy green pear with a rounded bell shaped bottom and a narrow neck, and they don’t change color when ripe. To ripen, keep at room temperature for a few days, and then in the fridge.

Gala Apples this week, like the pears, are also from Sol Bio in Argentina, for the same seasonal reasons. Our suppliers try to provide new, fresh crops with a minimal footprint that are comparable to US-grown apples. The Gala is a superb dessert apple, excellent for fresh eating and baking. Most Galas are yellow-gold with pink to red stripes, while some Gala strains may be nearly solid red. Apples are picked at their peak ripeness, so additional ripening really means acceleration in the decaying process – so, to prevent apples from getting mushy and mealy, they should be refrigerated. They can last up to six weeks in the refrigerator.

White Nectarines are from Twin Girls Farm in CA, family started, owned and operated since 1993. Nectarines are fuzzless peaches, and those with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity (while yellow-fleshed ones typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness — though this also varies greatly). Once ripe, nectarines will keep in the coldest part of your  refrigerator for 5 days at most. Store in a plastic bag.

Red Beaut Plums are from Olson Family Farms in CA. Plumbelieveable, as one website proclaims. Red Beaut is a large, firm red-skinned yellow-flesh plum with a complex, sweet flavor. Allow plums to ripen at room temperature, and store in fridge once ripe. For maximum juiciness, eat plums at room temperature.

The Kiwi is from Zespri Organic. Kiwi is oval-shaped, with a fibrous, brown-green skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The kiwi is actually a large berry that grows from a vine! The fruit should be firm, but not rock hard. Though most people prefer to peel the hairy, rough skin (or scoop the flesh out with a spoon) the skin is edible. Store at room temperature till ripe, then refrigerate.

Limes and Lemons are from Patagonia Orchards in AZ and another farm in CA. Enjoy these luscious green and yellow citrus fruits—perhaps squeezed into ice water, with your favorite sweetner and fresh herbs – all muddled in the glass!

Kent Mangoes are also from Patagonia Orchards. Kents mangoes are oval-shaped, fuller, and not as flat as other varieties. It has a particularly smooth, non-fibrous flesh. If not fully ripe, allow mangoes to ripen at room temperature in a paper bag. Once ripe, mangoes can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Pineapples this week are fair trade organic from small and medium size farms in Costa Rica, through Interrupcion Fair Trade. Store pineapples at room temperature and they will continue to ripen. Once ripe, slice or cube and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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