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April 8, 2010      

The FruitLife: Notes from the founder
Spring Transition
By Chris Mittelstaedt

In the fruit world, spring is the hardest time of year. Summer brings its abundance of stone fruits, Fall its apples, pears, persimmons, and pomegranates, and Winter all varieties of citrus that grow under the sun, but springtime... well that’s another story. In California, we really only see two fresh crops in the spring: strawberries and a very small amount of early blueberries. Strawberries are tasty and tender but their fragile nature makes them highly susceptible to damage from the weather. A damp strawberry is not one that can be picked and delivered – it will go bad too quickly. Heavy rains can damage the berry while it's still on the plant making it crack or split. And the organic strawberries from smaller farms are especially vulnerable. When it rains, strawberry farmers have to Read more about fruits harvested in spring.

The Bee Beat: an occasional series on our friendly pollinators
Native Bees

By Heidi Lewis

pollinating bee“Go native.” That was the position taken at a recent Bee Symposium in Sebastopol, CA hosted by BeeKind and The Partners for Sustainable Pollination. The symposium hall was filled to capacity with beekeepers and wanna-bees. Lectures by apiary luminaries Dr. Robbin Thorp, Randy Oliver, Serge Labesque, and Kathy Kellison covered current scientific and anecdotal info on honeybee health and management and the importance of bee habitat.

Dr. Thorp from UC Davis gave an extensive survey of the native bees in our midst. The U.S. is home to some 4,000 species nationwide, but the numbers vary by region. New York is home to about 400 species while California’s diversified climate hosts some 1,600. Of course the non-native European Honeybees are our favorite pollinators – they give us wonderful honey, and they are so, well, organized. Honeybees pollinate 70 percent of our food crops but disease has threatened their numbers so greater attention is now being given to Read all the buzz about bees, including native bee species and colony collapse disorder.

Wellness: Swimming
Take the Plunge

By Rebecca Taggart

Spring is finally here, and as the days warm up the call of the water gets stronger. Just as April showers bring May flowers, bringing some water into your life through swimming can make you bloom with health. And if swimming isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other aqua-activities to try.

Swimming laps is fantastic exercise because it is both cardiovascular and strengthening. It uses all the body’s muscle groups and therefore gives a whole-body workout. It is also low impact, which benefits those with joint or weight limitations (or advanced pregnancy), yet a vigorous swim burns as many calories as running a 10-minute mile or playing competitive soccer (around 600 cal/hr). By using different strokes you can focus on certain muscle groups, and few other activities give you as good of an upper body workout. Swimming is an exercise that can be done throughout your life, unlike many other sports, and it is an excellent way to cross-train. It is also often recommended for Read more about swimming for better health.

News: CA Light Brown Apple Moth update
Mothra Returns
By Pia Hinckle

In March, California held senate hearings on the status of the state’s eradication program for the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). FruitGuys founder and CEO Chris Mittelstaedt testified in defense of small family farmers whose farms have been hurt by the current California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) practice to quarantine farms and sale of their produce whenever any caterpillar, LBAM or not, is found on the property until it is identified. Mittelstaedt asked why apples from New Zealand, where the moth is also present, are allowed to be sold in the U.S. while California farmers, who may or may not have the moth present, are not allowed to sell theirs under the quarantine rules.

“I draw two main conclusions from observing and talking with the small farmers that we work with. The first, as you will hear, is that it is truly the quarantine and not the moth that is most damaging to small California farmers. The second, as I will explain, is Read full article on the true threat from Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM).

Recipe of the Week: Carrot and Potato Home Fries
Free recipe Best Home Fries

organic fruits and veggies delivered

Try our TakeHome case and you’ll receive organic fruits and veggies to prepare dishes like this delicious vegetarian saute. Delivery at your office to take home or to your home.

berkeley wellness letterBerkeley Wellness Letter

As 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 March Wellness Letter
The Raw vs. the Cooked

The belief in the benefits of raw foods—sometimes called “living foods”—is nothing new. Sylvester Graham, for whom the cracker is named, promoted raw foods 150 years ago, just as some chefs, cookbooks, celebrities, and websites promote them today. Among other claims, raw food diets are said to eliminate headaches and allergies, improve memory and immunity, ease arthritis, and reverse diabetes. Proponents say that cooking destroys nutrients, enzymes, and the “life force” of the food itself. Here are the basics, the benefits, the drawbacks, and the bottom line.

The archive is available online at www.wellnessletter.com. The password for April is muffin.

FruitGuys GoodWorks: our Farm Steward program helps farms solve pest problems via sustainable methods
Eye on Owls
By Bridget Meigs

Owls can play a crucial role in rodent control on organic farms. Instead of traps or poison, owls are natural predators that can help control populations of rodents like meadow voles that can girdle and kill the fruit trees.

Many owl species reside in forested habitat, but the North American Barn Owl is attracted to the open grasslands present in both Lancaster County, PA and Stanislaus County, CA. The FruitGuys worked with farmers in both of these regions in March to Read more about attracting and sheltering owls by installing owl boxes.

New Shopping Cart

The FruitGuys is happy to announce that our new and improved shopping cart will be rolling out this week. It should make order management easier. If you already have an account, you should be able to sign in as usual.

If you have any questions or suggestion about the new ordering system, contact us at info@fruitguys.com or 877-FRUIT-ME. We are always happy to make you happy.

Field Trips

Intro to Bay Swimming
Apr 24
San Francisco, CA

Registration for Manhattan Island Swim Opens
closes May 27
New York, NY

Acoustic Ecology
Apr 17
Chicago, IL

More fun things to do locally.

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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