April is the Not-So-Nicest Month

By Heidi Lewis

The National Cherry Blossom Festival was recently held in Washington, D.C. This year’s festival commemorated the centennial of Japan’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. in 1912. The ornamental trees rim West Potomac Park’s Tidal Basin, which reflects their snowy canopy. Their beauty and a slew of special events attract about a million visitors to the festival annually.

This year the event was scheduled between March 20 and April 27. Alas, the blossoms peaked nearly a month early due to a warm winter. Ten days later, the walkways were littered with petal drifts.

Have you noticed an earlier than usual flowering of your neighborhood trees? Many U.S. regions have experienced a premature warming trend with a bit more consequence. Coming out early puts fruit blossoms in jeopardy of the last of winter’s wrath. When the soil warms, buds emerge; when the air warms and the blossoms open, the petals fall away, and the tiny fruit sets. At that delicate stage, any frost, hard rain, or hail can easily damage them.

Late spring storms and frosts affected many of our farmers across the country these past weeks. Severe frosts wrecked much of the grape and apple crops of Mick Klug Farm in St. Joseph, MI, and wiped out 75 percent of the apple crop at Nichols Farm & Orchard in Illinois. Hail knocked numerous baby plums to the ground at B&L Farms in Fresno County, CA; and Kauffman’s Fruit Farm cherry orchard in Lancaster County, PA, took a major hit. All these farms are family-run, and damaged crops impact their livelihood.

As The FruitGuys’ buyers assess the impact of the weather on spring fruit, buyer Rebecca North says, “We are still committed to working with these farmers, especially as they may feel the financial impact of these short but not-so-sweet storms. This may mean some aesthetically challenged pieces of fruit in FruitGuys cases. Hail or other weather damage may leave some scarring on the outside, but the inside is still delicious!”

There are numerous interpretations to T.S. Eliot’s quote “April is the cruelest month”—as our farmers well know, none of us are out of reach of winter’s backhand in April.

As always, see what’s in your mix this week and where it came from by visiting our Mix Pages.

Enjoy & Be Fruitful!

Share this post

Magazine Search

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

 

Recent Food articles:

The joy of nut (and seed) butters
July 22, 2015
Beat the summer heat with the contents of your fridge and pantry
June 15, 2015
The babies of the stone fruit season
May 26, 2015
Tips to avoid late-night snacking and lose weight
May 21, 2015
April 28, 2015
From salad to shortcake, ways to enjoy the heart-shaped berry
March 25, 2015
"Please, sir—I want some more!"
February 25, 2015
February 24, 2015
Operating instructions for America's favorite fruit
January 27, 2015

More recent articles:

The FruitGuys third Iron Chef competition a sizzling success
July 29, 2015
Save Sonoma County’s special apple, the Gravenstein
July 13, 2015
A good night’s sleep and how to get it
July 13, 2015
July 13, 2015
Creative ways to cut office food waste
July 9, 2015
Adapted from allrecipes.com
June 24, 2015
Like pets, office sweaters (and jackets, shawls, and hand warmers) have a lot to say about their owner.
June 23, 2015
Dynamic warm-ups prepare your body and protect against injury
June 22, 2015

About Us

The FruitGuys Magazine is your source for workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. Previously known as The FruitGuys Almanac, the Magazine began in 2007. Editors and contributors include nationally known journalists and food writers. Submissions and suggestions can be sent to the editor.