I grew up pretty naive. Before moving from my home town of Philadelphia in the early ’90s, I didn’t know what to expect of Northern California. I thought that nude beaches were the punch line of a joke; that thousand-foot redwood trees grew in people’s back yards, and that surfing was a graduation requirement in coastal high schools. I was sure all kids had at least one hippie parent, knew what patchouli was, and brought drums to backyard barbeques in case drumming circles spontaneously “happened.” Now my kids bang on the conga I bought long ago and used once with great enthusiasm in Golden Gate Park to pretty much kill the beat of a 20-strong circle. (Note: It’s tough to get grooving circle drummers angry with you, but it is doable under the right circumstances.) And as a Northern California business owner, I have learned when someone puts “Breatharian” on their resume it does not mean they graduated music school and can control their breathing but that they claim to subsist on nutrients collected by breathing deeply next to plants.
Regional: Every area in the country has its unique history, customs, and stereotypes. Like these, weather and growing conditions are also highly unique and impact what can be grown in a region. California’s micro-climates have a significant effect on how and what things are grown in them. Napa Valley is well known for it’s premier wine-grape growing conditions and the Central Valley has the right combination of soil, heat, and sun to grow the majority of produce and nuts consumed by the entire United States. For example, California’s peach and nectarine season starts around late May. The east coast farms begin to see a variety of peaches in mid-July to early- August. The FruitGuys believes in promoting and supporting regional farming when we can. We vary our fruit mixes so that customers on the east coast will get locally-grown products whenever possible. We recently opened our first extra-California office just outside of Philadelphia. As our company expands, we are trying to be as “local” as we possibly can for many reasons, from reducing travel distances for environmental purposes to working with local growers to support small farms. FruitGuys is still a small family business, and I’m happy to announce that my sister Erin is in charge of our east coast buying and production. On our website, you will find that we have now split our “In the Mix” section into two parts, for east and west coast customers. Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to start a fruit-drumming circle!
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org