3rd fruit delivery: week of July 16, 2012
This week’s box is a summer delight featuring fresh organic Lapin Cherries from Apple and George along with other grab and go summer treats. We know you’re busy trying to balance work, summer fun and hot humid days. Keep these fruits cool, pack a summer picnic and head for a shady park or splash in a lake.
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare™
Storage and Ripening
Keep your cherries, grapes and blueberries in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They will stay freshest when stored as cold as 34 degrees F. Only wash these fruits right before you eat them to help discourage mold. Place a paper towel in the bag with the cherries to soak up any condensation that may occur. This will help keep your cherries fresh, sweet and delicious for 10-14 days. The Rabada apricots can also be placed in the refrigerator. They become sweeter when they give to slight thumb pressure.
What It Takes
Your incredible Lapin cherries are grown by Apple and George. They have been growing organically for over 30 years, and they believe firmly in the benefits of organic agriculture. When they bought their current orchard in 1997, the crops were already planted and pesticides were present. Over the next few years, Apple and George slowly transitioned the land back to its natural, organic state, enduring tough harvests and learning loads. They haven’t looked back. Now, George enjoys the simple pleasure of watching folks eat the cherries he and his wife grew on their central-Washington farm. Apple, the self-professed philosophical spouse, loves being part of a bigger movement and of course providing some of the healthiest, tastiest food grown today.
Since transitioning their orchard to organic, Apple and George have harvested some of our favorite fruit of the summer year after year. They employ about 40 seasonal workers, who work in an environment free of harsh chemicals alongside Apple and George, their three grown children plus their significant others. Harvest days begin at 4:30 in the morning and often last until 9 in the evening. The orchard is only 3.5 acres large, but the small size allows for plenty of care. The cherries are hand-selected, so you know that the cherries in your box are truly at their peak of ripeness. Sometimes Apple, George and their team of harvesters sweep through the orchard on four separate occasions. This year, they have escaped most of the hail and damaging rains that wreak havoc on a cherry orchard.
We were able to get one more delivery of Rainer cherries from Bruce. He was hit by some hail this season and rain close to harvest. This posses a challenge in that some cherries can be nicked by the hail and split by the rain. He and his crew worked hard to leave blemished fruit in the orchard, but you may find some splits and nicks in your Rainiers. Please understand the difficulty and effort he put in to bring you the best he could harvest this season. I think his fruit is wonderfully sweet if not always perfect.
Green grapes from Roy Rucker and Anthony’s vineyard are starting to sweeten up a more. The higher sugars can cause ambering that is a sign of higher sugar, but that means they should be eaten quicker too.
This week we have moved to a new crop of Duke blueberries grown by Jim Lott. He has a unique hobby, and strange as it may sound, you have birds to thank for the beautiful blueberries your are receiving today. Specifically, you can thank Jim’s falcons. In a unique and innovative “bird abatement program,” Jim has bred and trained falcons to scare away birds that would otherwise help themselves to his blueberries in Burbank, WA. Falconers bring the birds of prey out to the fields to patrol the skies and protect the crop, chasing away starlings, robins and finches. It is a project that takes a lot of time and dedication, what with the extensive training that each bird requires from birth. But, Jim says, it is worth it. Not only is he passionate about the bird abatement program, it is cost-effective, especially for high-value fruit crops. Jim’s birds have been leased out to other blueberry farmers, and have also been used to keep cherries safe from hungry birds. He says there has been a lot of interest from other orchards, and he has hopes that the bird abatement program could take off on its own and extend from blueberries and cherries to grapes – and beyond. We’re thankful for Jim’s creative hobby and these blueberries that have wonderful flavor and are protected by watchful eyes from above.
Health and Wellness
We all know that sitting around all day is bad, and that we should exercise to stay healthy. It is recommended that we exercise for 30 to 60 minutes five times per week, plus two to three weekly resistance training sessions, like weightlifting. That seems like plenty of exercise…right? A new study discussed in the Washington Post finds that our sedentary lifestyles are harmful for our health, even if you are meeting the recommended guidelines for exercise. The study, from the American College of Sports Medicine, is still very new and results are still being analyzed. However, it seems clear that no matter how much you exercise, sitting for prolonged periods of time can still harm your health. If you sit at a desk all day or drive long distances, you are probably at a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. So what’s the solution? Based on the preliminary evidence, the way to counteract the negative effects of sitting still for long periods of time is simple: get up. Carol Ewing Garber, associate professor of movement science at Columbia University, recommends moving around every 30 to 60 minutes – “get up while you’re talking on the phone, just for a minute or two,” she recommends. Taking short breaks to move around and stretch out is good for your focus, too. So, get up, shake it out, and take a breather; it could be a powerful way to stay healthy.
Baked Cherry Crisp
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 sheets phyllo dough, trimmed to 11 x 16 inches
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces (3 cups) sweet cherries, pitted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on a baking tray (keep remaining pieces covered with a damp kitchen towel) and lightly brush entire surface with oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets. Arrange cherries on top. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Cut into squares.
Courtesy of wholeliving.com