11th Fruit Delivery Nov 5 – 9, 2013

It looks like November is setting up for a beautiful variety of apples, pears, citrus and even cranberries again this year.  The weather has been better this year for our apple and pear growers as well as the cranberry bogs.  So enjoy this mixed apple and pear box and look forward to some cranberries mixed in before Thanksgiving and soon there after you’ll see the first of the Rio Star grapefruit, stem and leaf clementines and other delicious citrus that happens throughout the winter season.

Please note in your boxes today.  We have added a Labels2learn.com postcard.  FruitShare is giving .25 per box to your favorite school.  We are strong supports of our kids’ future and we think this is a great vehicle to partner with our customers to give to their favorite schools. 

Also if you are looking for the perfect gift we can pack up the perfect organic fruit box and deliver it for you.

Thanks for your support of organic orchards.,
Everett Myers, Founder and President of FruitShare™

In Your Box

Yoinashi asian pears

Honeycrisp, Pinova, Sweet Orin, Granny, Fuji apples

Bosc, D’Anjou, and Concorde pears

Storage and Ripening

Yoinashi asian pears are ready to eat right out of the box or you can leave them in the refrigerator like an apple and enjoy over a couple weeks.  Your pears will need between 4-7 days on the counter/fruit bowl to give to thumb pressure by the stem.  To speed up their ripening process you can place some in a paper bag with a banana, but remember to “check the neck” every day. The banana gives off ethylene gas that ripens fruit faster. You can always place your pears in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process and enjoy over a longer period of time.  Keep your apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They are ready to eat right away. They will stay crispiest when stored as cold as 34 degrees F.

What It Takes
This week’s Bosc, D’Anjou and Concorde pears, as well as, the Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples are from the Stennes family. Like many of our organic growers, the Stennes family farm in Washington’s Cascade Mountains is a family affair. The farm began in 1894, when the Stennes family emmigrated from Norway and planted apple trees on their homestead. Now, Keith is joined by his twin sons, Mark and Kevin to make up the third and fourth generations of Stennes farmers. They have grown the orchard to include not just apples, but also cherries, pluots, plums, and of course, pears. This week they’ve provided some great pears. Concordes are known for their sweetness and juiciness, as well as their tall, beautiful shape. It has green skin and sometimes a hint of yellow, and can be eaten while crisp – it will still be sweet and delicious!  Concorde pears are perfectly suited for slicing on a cheese plate or into a fresh salad because they don’t turn brown when sliced like most pears. I still prefer them most when they are soft at the neck.  D’Anjou pears are a popular variety that are easily recognized by their egg-shaped appearance. These pears skin will not change color as they ripen, so don’t wait around for them to change – remember to “check the neck” to gauge their ripeness; when they give to soft pressure, they are ready to eat. D’Anjou pears are great for most recipes, because they are juicy and fresh tasting. They can be used for baking, grilling or poaching, and they are great sliced in salads. Bosc pears are a distinctive variety with a crunchy-yet-tender flesh and sweet, spiced flavor. Don’t be deterred by their brown skin: the flesh is firm and spicier than other varieties. Bosc pears are more flavorful earlier in the ripening process. Enjoy their complex, sweet flavor before they have fully softened. When you test your Bosc pears to check their ripeness, keep in mind that their flesh is denser than other varieties. This means that when you “check the neck,” it will not give as much to pressure. Don’t wait around for these pears to get super soft; they’re ready to enjoy while they’re still a little firm! Sometime I notice they will shrivel right by the stem and can be very sweet at this time.  Because of this firm flesh, Bosc pears are great for baking, broiling and poaching. Their strong flavor is also less likely to be overwhelmed by spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

Yoinashi asian pears in my opinion are what an asian pear is supposed to be.  My daughter when she first tried one several years ago said, “it tastes like a juice box”.  You get the crisp of an apple and the sweet juice, of well, a juice box. In some parts of Asia they are greatly appreciated as a symbol of beauty, longevity and wisdom.  We got as much of this limited crop for you as we could and hope you will appreciate this gift.  Your Yoinashi, Sweet Orin (a yellow apple variety developed in Japan where it is considered a special delicacy.  It is customary in Japan to slice and share these apples with family and friends following meals on special occasions). Pinova (an extremely complex red blushed apple) and Fuji (we are excited about these because of their very high 17 Brix) apples are from Hood River, Oregon, grown by Ronny and Jimmy, two brothers who have been working on the family farm since they were kids. Their parents, Ron and Cheryl, decided to sell their dry-cleaning business and buy a farm. Ron quickly became one of the most respected organic farmers in the Pacific Northwest. He even served as the only organic farmer on National Commission for Small Farms for many years. Ronny and Jimmy took over the farm in 2003 and have begun growing new varieties of apples, pears and more. They truly do their best to farm not only organically but very sustainably. They have created a loop in the production cycle, composting cast-off fruit and peels to keep the soil rich and fertile with minimal waste.

Note: We use a refractometer to measure the Brix level in our fruit.  In short it measures the sugar level in the juice of fruit.  To measure the Brix we simply squeeze some of the fruit juice onto the refractometer and look into the light.  The refractometer gives us the number, which we use for comparing against other fruit of the same type.

Health and Wellness

Several recent studies are proving what we should already know.  Exercising is good for the brain not just your body.  Recent research presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress show the brain-boosting effects of just four months of exercise. “It’s reassuring to know that you can at least partially prevent that [cognitive] decline by exercising and losing weight,” study researcher Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention of the Montreal Heart Institute, said in a statement. The study included overweight and sedentary adults with an average age of 49. They underwent twice-weekly sessions of intense interval training for four weeks, which included circuit weights and exercise bikes, before and after which they underwent tests of their cognitive functioning, cardiac output, body composition and exercise tolerance and capacity.  By the end of the study, the researchers found that not only were the participants’ body measurements all improved.  They also did better on the tests of cognitive functioning.  “At least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week can make a huge difference to manage risk factors for heart disease and stroke,” Dr. Beth Abramson, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said in a statement.  There are many benefits of exercise.  We know it can make us feel better. These studies suggest it can make us think better as well.  Courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

Recipe

Jen’s Kale Slaw with Pears and Avocado (My wife’s friend Jennifer Holloway developed this recipe and it is a winner!)

2 bunches of kale stripped off the stem—roughly chopped and lightly steamed (then chopped finer)

2 carrots grated

1 cup shredded cabbage (red or nappa)

½ red onion chopped (soaked to take away strong flavor)

1 pear sliced/chopped

1 avocado diced

Dressing—mix separately first

1 T Dijon Mustard, 3 T Olive Oil, 2-3 T Apple Cider Vinegar (white, or champagne will also work).

Combine above ingredients and enjoy.  You can also prep a larger batch of the kale/carrot/cabbage/onion and keep it in the fridge.  Adding pear, avocado, and dressing upon serving.

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