6th Fruit Delivery: week of August 27, 2012

What’s in your box?

Colorado Peaches

Colorado Gala apples

 Colorado Bartlett pears,

 Grapes

 Dapple Dandy and Flavorosa pluots

 

Storage and Ripening

The peaches should be left on the counter at room temperature. Remember to keep an eye on your Colorado peaches.  They should become soft to thumb pressure between 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 4-7 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 naturally, ethylene gas that ripens fruit faster.

Keep your pluots, 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.  We like to eat the pluots when they are firm and even crisp.  They express the most sugar flavor at that time.  Eat your grapes and pluots first.  Your apples and pears will keep the longest and peaches eat up as soon as they are ready.

What It Takes

Have you ever imagined quitting your job/career and becoming an orchardist?  This is exactly what Rosemerry, a poet and teacher, and Eric a builder and project manager did in 2007.  Living near Telluride at the time they would take drives on rural roads and noticed this beautiful land with an orchard that had fallen in disrepair.  They couldn’t get this land, 2 hours from where they were living, out of their mind.  Thinking they would fix up the buildings and sell it; they instead fell in love with the idea of becoming orchardists and followed through on their conviction.  They are now raising their two young children and taking care of fruit trees on 75 acres of land on the Western Slope of Colorado.  Now after 5 years of being full time organic orchardists they are harvesting some really nice crops.  We are fortunate to bring you the first picking of their 2012 Gala apple and Bartlett pear crop.  The fruit is small, but it is Colorado sweet because of the cold mountain nights that bring on more sugar than fruit grown in climates that don’t have the “chill hours”.

The Colorado peaches continue to come from Brant and Carol as we move through the different varieties that mature at different time starting in early August and going 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 year in and year out produces the best peaches.  I love talking with him about every nuance in the orchard that make this year different than every other year.  The fact that this year’s season is about 2-3 weeks ahead of the average season is just unbelievable to him.  An early spring followed by no cool down just pushed the peaches along at a steady clip the whole year.  He is already into late season variety that we think you will really enjoy.

We were able to get one more shot of Nacho’s sweet plouts.  My daughter says the Dapple Dandy pluots “taste like sugar in a bag”.  A bag I question?  “Yes an edible bag”.  She took a whole box to her friends and we were rewarded with a bunch of smiling faces.  The Flavorosa are another variety that always seems to please.  Enjoy the pluots cold and crisp right out of the refrigerator.

Recently I was asked why Nacho’s fruit has pacorg labels stickers on it. He puts the pacorg label on his fruit because pacorg helps him sell his fruit–and stickers are necessary on the fruit when it goes into retail to identify it separately from conventional produce.  I don’t ask for the fruit to be unstickered because it is harder for him to deal with separating out his packing process.  Years ago he used to do this for me and now prefers to send it with stickers.

The grapes in your box this week are from the Benzler family in Fresno, CA. The family affair began in 1952 when Fred and Bertha began a farm with the ideals growing of ecological and natural food products. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Benzlers began converting to organic growing practices, and they haven’t looked back since. They pick their grapes and ship them within a matter of hours so that the freshest, most flavorful grapes arrive to you!

Health and Wellness

On our philosophy of having a certain fruit like blueberries, cherries, Colorado peaches etc in the box more than once or twice in a row is as following.  We pick the  windows of time is when each fruit is great and peaking.  They are a very high value crops and appreciated by most so we really want to get them to you while they are happening.  Blueberries are all done now until next June and I miss eating 1-3 pints a day, as I do during the season.  The cherries and peaches are the same way.  There is such a short window when these are available we try to put the focus on that fruit which is really at its prime.  Cherries are now done and gone and I will miss them until next July.  Colorado peaches will wrap up in early September and then apples and pears start coming on strong.  You get your first taste of them today.

I know this can be difficult to understand when you can find fruit all year round now, but just think of the apples that are in the stores now from Chile, Argentina, or New Zealand.  These apples are over 8 months old and you will see them in the stores into February when they are over a year old! We work hard to keep a good mix of fruit in your box, but I am always conscious of keeping it in season and at its best.  Thank you so much for your continued support.

Recipe

Rustic Gingered Peach Tart

Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine 4 medium peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches; 1/4 cup sugar; and 1/4 tsp ground ginger in medium skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring gently, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Place a store-bought 9″ piecrust on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Mound peaches in center. Fold edges up and over filling, leaving center exposed.

Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serves 6.

Nutrition (per serving): 227 cal, 2 g pro, 36 g carb, 1 g fiber, 9.5 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 187 mg sodium

Courtesy of Prevention Magazine

 

Chilled Peach Shooters

Combine 1/4 cup honey, 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 12 ice cubes, and 3 medium peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches in blender. Puree until smooth.

Pour into 8 shot glasses and garnish each with a peach slice. Serves 8.

Nutrition (per serving): 55 cal, 1 g pro, 15 g carb, 1 g fiber, 0 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 1 mg sodium

Courtesy of Prevention Magazine

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