Summer means long days and late sunsets, picnics, and days at the beach. For many of us, it means slowing down and getting outside to enjoy more of nature—and no matter where you live in the U.S., summer brings an abundance of fresh, tasty fruit and produce.
At The FruitGuys, we’re attuned to nature’s seasonal changes and how its cycles bring us new varieties throughout the year. Seasonality is central to our goal of supporting local farms and regional food economies. Providing the best quality, freshest fruit available in every region we serve is all about finding fruit at its natural peak. And summer is peak season for so many of America’s favorite fruits.
Here’s what you can expect to enjoy in the months ahead:
The FruitGuys Summer Weekly Box Preview
Click on each linked fruit name for ripening and storage tips, and nutrition information. Remember that the exact mix of fruits will vary from region to region and according to what type of box you order. Find out what’s in your mix this week.
Strawberries and blueberries are enjoying a strong season in California, and we’ve been featuring North Carolina blueberries for our East Coast customers. We’re just starting to see New Jersey blueberries from the Hammonton region, which will be plentiful into August. These antioxidant-rich little beauties are a staple of summer eating, and never more delicious than this time of year.
Cherries: Unusually heavy rains, along with hail storms, hit California’s Central Valley in May and had a devastating effect on the region’s cherry crop. The storms wiped out nearly 75% of the early season yield. Golden Sstate growers are hoping to salvage as much as they can of their late season cherries. In the meantime, sweet cherries from Washington Sstate are going strong, so you can expect to see those in your boxes and on the shelves in your local market.
Unusual weather patterns have also impacted many Midwest growers, who told us how the occurrence of a polar vortex event killed crops and was followed by a late and unusually wet spring, which delayed planting until June in some areas. All this means that local varieties will show up later in the summer than usual. Our Midwest and Northeast customers have started receiving California stone fruit, including delicious peaches and nectarines, from growers like our good friends at Masumoto Farms, a family farm located on 80 acres of Certified Organic land south of Fresno, CA. Rebecca North, The FruitGuys Director of Quality and Supply Chain, calls their Suncrest peaches, “The best I’ve ever had!” Midwest and Northeast customers should get local stone fruit starting in July.
Fun fact: proprietor David Mas Masumoto has authored 11 books on farming, cooking, and the environment, and was featured along with his family members in the documentary film Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm, which was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2016.
[Have too much stone fruit? Here’s how to make an easy stone fruit jam]
In the months ahead, customers from coast to coast will enjoy the arrival of juicy, aromatic apricots, vibrant tart-sweet pluots, and delectable plums—all high in vitamins C and A, and great sources of dietary fiber. These summer favorites come in so many varieties, we couldn’t possibly list them all. Some of our favorites at The FruitGuys include: the Flavor Grenade pluot (like the name says, they’re a taste explosion, best enjoyed when chilled); crisp, crunchy, and sweet Emerald Beaut plums; and the delicious Dapple Dandy pluot, whose distinctive speckled skin gives this fruit its name.
[Curious about the naturally-hybridized fruit known as the pluot? Learn more: Plu-whats? Pluots]
Starting in July, we’ll have Lamb Hass avocados from southern California’s Apricot Lane Farms (star of the film “The Biggest Little Farm,” which is currently showing in theaters nationwide). And in late July, look for the start of fresh crop apples and pears. These nutrient-dense, fiberful treats are the perfect snack to pick up and give your immune system—and your tastebuds—a quick boost, any time of day.
While we will say goodbye to navel oranges, we will welcome Valencia oranges, named for the Spanish city. Valencias are thin-skinned, have few seeds, and are considered one of the best oranges for juicing. (If you’re not sure about the difference between a navel and a Valencia, an easy tip is to remember that the navel orange has a belly button on its underside, which is where it gets the name).
So that’s the scoop on summer fruit and what to expect in your weekly boxes. Upgrade for the summer months to a Harvest box, and enjoy stonefruit and other varieties in addition to apples, oranges and bananas. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-884-5338, and we will work out a summer fruit program that works for you.