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Ponce Upon a Time...


Day 26: The marsh of cubicles has cursed our party. We lost Lenny two days ago to the gurgling fried dough found in the quicksand pits of a budget-planning meeting. Sue has been eating the native Bundt cake that grows wildly here and drinking soda like it was stagnant stump water. Her sugar crash-induced lethargy is so bad that we had to build a makeshift sled out of paper towels, binder clips, and copy paper. We dragged her through an area that Ponce said was called “accounting.” The locals didn’t attack but spoke a language of debits and credits that nearly drove us mad.

ponce de leonDay 27: Ponce rescued Sue from the copy machine. We think she is only temporarily blinded. New rule: don’t copy your face without protective eye gear.

Day 28: Ponce set off on his own this morning. We’ve been camping in cubicle 27-605b. I sent up a signal flare that ignited the ceiling tiles. We’re tired, wet, and dying for nutrition.

minneolaDay 29: Ponce returned this morning with a Minneola Tangelo – a cross between a Duncan Grapefruit and a Dancy Tangerine. He said that he found it in The FruitGuys crate in the west coast and central region mixes. I can’t believe that he traveled thousands of miles in just a few hours. His hair wasn’t even mussed. He said that eating this great fruit would transport us to new places too. I’m hoping to find a pear that will take me to Omaha to see my cousin Darryl.

this weeks mixDay 30: Ponce finally led us to the worksite wellness clearing where he found the fruit. It was filled with light and warmth. In the center of this oasis known only as Kitchenette 12 was a fountain of office fruit in a FruitGuys crate. We gorged on fresh tree fruit. We were revitalized and snuck into the server room and looked up www.fruitguys.com to find what was in each regional mix. We clicked on the ladybug icon in the right-center of the home page and were transported by region just like Ponce said. I didn’t get a chance to see Darryl but I forwarded my mix to him from the mix page with the new FruitGuys mix forwarding button. Sue gorged on citrus the whole time. She said her eyesight is starting to come back. I haven’t told her yet that the conquistador hat she thought she was wearing is really a toaster.

Enjoy and be fruitful!

- Chris Mittelstaedt chris@fruitguys.com

Stairway to Heaven

Looking for ways to burn a few extra calories, build your strength, or tone your rear end? Stair climbing is a great way to get an excellent aerobic workout, no matter where you are or what your fitness level.

You can take the stairs in any building that has them, in your workplace, your house, a parking garage, or your dentist office. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator or escalator. You can use them for moderate exercise or a full-fledged, high-energy workout. It’s free, easy, and effective.

climbing stairsStepping up on a stair is great work for the leg and buttock muscles. Stair climbing builds more muscle than running, and is excellent for balance, strength, and elevating the heart rate. You even get a good workout going downstairs, when your quadriceps work hard supporting you. The FruitGuys’ Aaron Smith got quite the stair workout on Jan. 31 during Chicago’s Step Up for Kids benefit for Children’s Memorial Hospital. He climbed 90 flights in 16 minutes—fast enough to finish in the top 100.

Using the stairs casually, as an alternative to the elevator, can burn about 640 calories per hour (cal/hr) for a 140 lb person. Doing a stair workout, which can involve running up stairs, taking stairs two at a time, and other strenuous exercises, burns about 950 cal/hr for the same person. For comparison, moderate cycling, skiing, swimming and fast walking are all on par with casual stair climbing. Active sex clocks in at 430 cal/hr. Fast running and competitive singles tennis are on par with a stair workout.

stair climbingOf course most of us are not inclined to spend an hour on the stairs, but even short boutscan contribute to fitness and waistline. A 15-minute stair climb offers the same workout as 30 minutes of running on flat ground, and with less impact. At work, using the stairs can bring some welcome blood flow after you have been sitting for a while, and can be as effective as coffee to wake you up.

If you want to try a more serious workout, treat it as you would a run. Bring some water along so you can stay hydrated, and wear supportive athletic shoes. Do a few minutes of quadriceps and calf stretches, and then walk a flight up and back to warm up. Pace yourself – start by running a flight, then walking the next. Alternatively you can create sets – start with running one floor up, then walking down. After a minute’s rest repeat. Over time build up to more flights per set. Stay alert when rounding corners. Watch and listen for others using the stairs, and for doors opening. Never run down the stairs, which can easily lead to falls. If you find you are hooked, there are competitive stair climbing races held in buildings around the world.

After your first workout, you might just find yourself singing, “…and she’s climbing a stairway to heaven.”

Stair climbing is not recommended for people with knee injuries or high blood pressure (untreated). Always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

- Rebecca Taggart

Rebecca Taggart is a San Francisco yoga instructor.

The Budding System

The first time I went to a Scion Exchange I didn't know what to expect—was it a science fiction convention? As I drew nearer I saw people entering the building with little sticks under their arms—was it some sect of Wicca? The Wicker Wiccan maybe? But no, a Scion Exchange is where farmers and home gardeners bring twig cuttings from their best fruit and nut trees to swap so others may grow heirloom varieties. The requirements are simple: bring some, take some, and make notes.

The Exchanges take place in winter, when trees are dormant and the gardeners and farmers are restless with spring planning. I went to an exchange in Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma county). They can be found through your local chapter of the Rare Fruit Growers Association or Farm Extension Service. Inside a Scion Exchange you'll find long tables with heaps of branch cuttings in labeled plastic bags and marking tape. They are laid out under their genus headings for Pears, Stone Fruit, Cane Berries, and Apples. Bags with intriguing names like “Sweet Victoria,” “Fiesta,” “Sunrise,” and “Api Etoile.” Some names allude to previous growers: “Tydeman's Late Orange Apple,” “Hudson's Golden Gem,” and “Jeffers.”

organic pearsThe hall, often a grange or school cafeteria depending on the town, is abuzz with gossip—what pests are around, water issues, the dirt on soil, and, of course, the weather. The Scion Exchange is where you can learn the fine art of grafting fruit trees. Grafting is the art of inserting a cutting from one fruit tree into another to propagate a plant. Orchardists wait patiently for a turn with a Master Grafter, who will demonstrate by grafting the special scion wood onto an appropriate rootstock – which you then plant. With grafting know-how and some luck you could successfully graft one variety, of say a Waltana Apple, onto an existing Gravenstein Apple tree. Grafting various varieties onto one tree is a way for orchardists to maximize their harvest and space. Grafting is cloning, but not GMO – it is an ancient technique dating back to Mesopotamia. Growing trees from seeds is not a realistic option on our human time scale.

When I asked one orchardist what she was looking for at the Scion Exchange she replied "Disease resistance. I don't want to have to spray."  Growing organically is by far the prevailing sentiment among orchardists. The exchange of these varieties not only builds community among gardeners, but diversity in the fruit varieties available. It is a way for outstanding varieties to get known. This is just the bare tree part of the story.  The fruit tasting is in September.

- Heidi Lewis

berkeley wellness letterAs part of your FruitGuys subscription, we provide you and your employees online access to UC Berkeley's Wellness Letter, the newsletter of nutrition, fitness and self-care. It translates leading-edge research into practical advice for daily living - at home, at work, while exercising, shopping, or cooking.

Highlight from the February Wellness Letter
Wellness Tips

To consume more vitamin C, think beyond the orange. The following contain even more C than an orange: one cup of strawberries, one bell pepper (red and yellow ones have the most), one kiwifruit, one cup of broccoli or Brussels sprouts, or half a papaya.

The archive is available online at www.wellnessletter.com. The password for February is vitamin. The password for March is granola.

fresh fruit donationsGood Fruit = GoodWorks

The FruitGuys GoodWorks Project includes our Farm Steward and Community Outreach programs which have donated thousands of pieces of fruit to charitable organizations nationwide. Our Farm Steward program donates trees, bee hives, and bat and barn owl boxes to farmers to support sustainable agriculture practices. Since 2008, generous FruitGuys customers have donated more than 200 fruit crates to organizations that help people in need through our Donate-A-Crate program. In addition, The FruitGuys donates fruit each week to San Francisco's St Anthony' s Foundation, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and Philadelphia's Philabundance.

GoodWorks Spotlight: The FruitGuys was introduced to East Palo Alto's Ecumencial Hunger Project (EHP) through one of our customers in the area whose employer, a law firm, takes an active role in supporting this 35-year-old nonprofit agency. Through the work of a small staff and many volunteers, EHP provides essential services to families in need. Donations of fresh and packaged food, clothing, household items, and services are provided to hundreds of families each year. If you or your company would like to donate fresh fruit to EHP, or sponsor fruit for a family for a number of weeks, call us at 877.378.4863 or email info@fruitguys.com for more information. Looking for volunteer opportunities? Contact EHP info@ehpcares.org, they welcome your help. Look for The FruitGuys Banana Man at their annual fundraiser on March 6th.

The FruitGuys thanks you for your business which supports our GoodWorks Project, from fighting hunger to fighting pests. We couldn't do it without you!

Recipe: Spicy Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Broccoli and Sugar Snap Peas

For Rice:
1 cup brown rice
3 cups of vegetable broth (from boullion)
For Stir-Fry:
1/2 cup water
1 broccoli crown, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup of sugar snap peas, ends removed and chopped in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Prepare the rice:

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered over medium heat, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.

Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot. Cover the pot and set it aside (not on hot burner) to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt.

Prepare the stir-fry:
Bring 1/2 cup water to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and the snap peas. Cover and simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and dry the skillet.

organic fruits and veggies deliveredHeat the oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, green onions, ginger and dried red pepper (if you want the rice to be spicy). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir vegetables into scallops. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the vegetables and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

See more recipes here. Try The FruitGuys TakeHome case and you’ll receive fresh fruits and veggies to prepare dishes like this delicious dish. Delivery at your office to take home or to your home. Veggies available in Bay Area only at this time.

Learn all about citrus from FruitGuys CEO Chris Mittelstaedt on "View from the Bay."

view from the bay

daffodilsField Trips

Filoli Opening - Daffodil Daydreams
Feb 26, 27
Woodside, CA

Cookbook Swap
Feb 25
San Francisco, CA

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Mar 5, 6, 7
Sebastopol, CA

bell atlantic stair climbEAST
Composting in the City
Feb 25
Brooklyn, NY

Fight for Air - Stair Climb
Mar 20
Bell Atlantic Tower, Philadelphia, PA

Grafting Workshop
Mar 27
Lancaster, PA

Peace on Earth Film Festival
Feb 26, 27, 28
Chicago, IL

Hustle Up the Hancock - Stair Climb
Feb 28
Chicago, IL

Grafting Workshop
March 14
Weaton, IL

Has it been a while since you received our farm fresh fruit? We'd love to have you back!

Order fruit for work

See what's in the mix in your region this week.

If you have any questions or would like more information, call toll-free at 1-877-FRUIT-ME
or email us at info@fruitguys.com.

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