Signs of spring are everywhere: the days are getting longer, the sun’s growing stronger, buds are blossoming, and baseball season is underway.
It’s a great time for fruit lovers, too. Spring means an abundance of tasty treats coming your way from The FruitGuys in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s a preview of what to expect in your weekly boxes (timing and specific items may vary by region and box type):
We’re entering a time of citrus transition—so enjoy these last few weeks of local citrus such as pummelos, blood oranges, Cara Caras, and sweet Star Ruby grapefruit. Sweet, seedless pixie tangerines from our friends at Friend’s Ranch in Ojai, CA (these delicious and distinctive treats are featured in the Ark of Taste endangered food catalog) will only be here until May, so grab them while you can! Navel oranges (the so-called “winter” orange) will be wrapping up in early May, but in their place, we’ll have Valencia oranges, great for eating and juicing, through summer.
Soon we will see a new season’s crop of delicious, organic California strawberries. In the U.S. the strawberry industry is mostly located in the southern, central, and coastal areas of California because strawberry production is best suited to moderate climates with warm days and low humidity. California’s had a blessedly wet winter and early spring after years of drought, and these delicate fruits have to be hand-picked, so our growers are waiting for drier weather to get picking. The FruitGuys has always sourced only organic strawberries, even in our conventional fruit boxes, because these berries grow close to the ground and are more susceptible to the pesticides used on conventional crops. Low in calories, high in taste—and packed with vitamin C—these heart-shaped fruits are a perennial favorite. See our 13 reasons to enjoy strawberries.
The rich, creamy flavor of the Fuerte avocado, which is also listed in the Ark of Taste, is beloved by growers and connoisseurs alike. This variety got its name (which means “strong” in Spanish) after a bud transplanted from Atlixco, Mexico, to Altadena, CA, survived the Great Freeze of 1913, which destroyed much of Southern California’s fruit crops. We think you’ll have strong feelings about this gem of an avocado once you’ve tasted it.
Starting in April, we’re also shipping out batches of the Fuerte’s more well-known sibling, the velvety, delicious Hass avocado. We have so much to recommend about avocados from a taste and health perspective, as well as 4 tips on enjoying avocados sustainably. The California Avocado Commission has great information and unexpected recipes on its website, including these 3 DIY avocado beauty tips and tricks.
Distinctly fuzzy, soft, and juicy, high in vitamins A and C, peaches are poised to return starting in late April. Our first peaches of the season come to us from the Salton Sea region of California. By month’s end, both peaches and nectarines will be harvested across the Golden State. (Fun fact: nectarines technically are peaches, but they carry a recessive gene that makes them a touch sweeter and gives them smooth skin.) Cherries will be right behind them in the month of May. Not only are these bite-sized stone fruits delicious, but they’re also naturally rich in melatonin—the hormone produced in our brain’s pineal gland that’s been credited with immunity-boosting, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Customers in the Midwest and Northeast will start seeing California stone fruit in their boxes in May, with local harvests gearing up by late June or early July.
Apples and Pears
We’re lucky to have local apple growers across the U.S. supplying our customers throughout the spring, thanks to their cold storage abilities, which keep apples crisp and sweet-tasting just about any time of year. Washington apples include unique varieties such as the crisp and tangy Jazz apple, the juicy and super-sweet Kiku apple, the intensely flavored Kanzi apple, the very juicy K
oru variety, the bright and delicious Opal, the full-flavored (and aptly named!) Smitten apple, the remarkably crunchy SweeTango, and the sweet, speckled Envy apple. (More about Washington apples here.) From the nutrient-dense pear family, we’ve got classic, tender Bartlett pears, elegant Boscs (distinguished by their dark gold skin and cinnamon russeting), and D’Anjous still available this time of year.
Our fresh fruit storage and ripening tips are always helpful to review before you get your next FruitGuys box—no matter what’s inside. For the latest on what’s coming your way from The FruitGuys, check out our weekly mixes, which highlight our current offerings by region.
Elisabeth Flynn is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor, and has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit/social innovation sector.