Apple Farmers Benefit from Grav Box


By Heidi Lewis In September, when apple season is just hitting its zenith in most of the country, the harvest is already fading in Sonoma County, CA, where the Gravenstein Apple reigns supreme. The Grav (as it’s known) is one of the earliest apples to appear in the market; it’s ready to harvest in August. [...]

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The FruitGuys featured in the New York Times

Gravenstein Apples

The FruitGuys Gravenstein Apple Box was featured in the New York Times Dining & Wine Section on August 8, 2013. Gravensteins: They Make a Dessert That Much Sweeter

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Save The Gravenstein

hale grav tree!

Celebrate Sonoma County’s Heirloom Apple By Heidi Lewis “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” —Martin Luther (1483-1546, German monk and church reformer) In a world awash with Red Delicious apples grown for their size, color, durability, and profitability—but definitely not their flavor—keeping [...]

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Apple Russeting


By Gretchen Bay Shakespeare and his contemporaries called these gems “leather-coats.” The Victorians prized them for their look, texture, and taste, and often depicted them in works of art. And lucky for us, russeted apples are still a special treat that we can enjoy today. Russeting is a brownish, corky or netlike texture that ranges [...]

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Apples on the Home Front


By Heidi Lewis How is it that apples are so inextricably linked to our sense of home? We find it in imagery and language in many things, from the old trope “as American as apple pie” to the idiom “apple of my eye.” Cultural anthropologists and critics point to our pioneering heritage as the source. [...]

Preparation Tips

Eat out of hand; slice and eat with cheese or add to salads; use in desserts, sauces, or chutneys; try apple slices on a grilled-cheese sandwich; combine with curry or winter squash in soups; and experiment!

Storage Tips

Most apples will keep for at least 2–3 months or more if stored in a cool, dry place or the crisper drawer of the fridge.
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Ode to a Grav Grower

lee walker gravenstein farmer

Walker Family Stuck Through Boom and Bust By Pia Hinckle Lee Walker has been farming with his family in their Graton, CA, apple orchard his whole life, except for a tour in the army and a few years playing pro baseball. Lee has kept growing Gravenstein apples through both the thick and the thin-skinned times [...]

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The Grav-ity of Change

Heirloom Apples

By Chris Mittelstaedt Change has come slowly but steadily to the foods we’ve eaten over the last 70 years. While there has been no acute onset to clearly demonstrate the difference between the food of today and yesterday, if you take a look at local agriculture, you can see the fingerprint of change in all partsof the [...]

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Great Gravenstein! This Heirloom Apple has a Story to Tell

Gravenstein apple tree at Hale Ranch in Sebastopol, CA

By Heidi Lewis ‘Joe’ has his hands in his pockets, rocking heel to toe gazing into a crate of Gravenstein apples. Barbara Walker, who operates the Walker Apples’ booth, listens to Joe with full attention whilst her arms move like an octopus, weighing and bagging apples, making change, and nodding to other customers. Joe is [...]

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Gravenstein Apple Tart


Pastry brush Gravenstein SlowFood Box Gravenstein Apple Tart Adapted from A Cook’s Tour of Sonoma Courtesy Michele Anna Jordan INGREDIENTS 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in pieces and chilled 4 tablespoons ice water Juice of 1 lemon 3 to 4 apples, preferably [...]

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Gravenstein Apple

gravenstein apple

The Gravenstein apple is the vanguard of California’s apple season and the hallmark crop of Sebastopol in Sonoma County, CA. Every year, Sebastopol throws this tart-sweet, old-fashioned apple two parties—one for its blossom in April and one for its harvest in August. The Gravenstein is renowned far and wide for its perfectly balanced flavor of tart and sweet. [...]

Preparation Tips

Wash apples in cool water before eating. Eat out of hand or sliced—on their own or in salads, pies, compotes, and more.

Storage Tips

Apples should be kept in a cool (below 60/70°F) space away from sunlight and heat, where they will keep for two weeks. Refrigerated apples can last as long as six weeks.
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Grab a Grav!

Upstream from the Russian River lie the warm hills of Sebastopol. Right now the orchards are laden with Gravenstein apples. As the morning dew burns off, afternoon breezes bear an aroma of apples into town. The Gravenstein apple is lauded by many as the best apple for its balance of sweet and tart flavor. They [...]

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Over the River and Through the Woods

It’s been a long day on the Russian River in Sonoma County where the kids are barefoot, dirty, and sun soaked. The rocky river beach we’re on is filled with families who have been coming to this spot for years – little fazes them. Big kids swing from trees on ropes overhanging the river while [...]

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Apple Towns

Do you live in a famous town? Yeah, me too. Okay, so Sebastopol, CA (pop. 7,700) doesn’t have much to compare to someplace like The Big Apple (pop. 8.3 million). But we do have a lot of apples – Gravenstein Apples that is. We are rather famous for the Gravenstein. The Gravensteins in the West [...]

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Award-Winning Gravenstein Apple Pie

Here’s a recipe for a prize-winning homemade apple pie! And to show you the steps, Founder and CEO of The Fruit Guys, Chris Mittelstaedt, visited ABC7 View From the Bay: Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce Apple Pie Baking Contest 2008 Grand Champion Kayleigh Stump’s Apple Pie Recipe INGREDIENTS Crust: 2 cups unbleached flour 1/2 cup almond [...]

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