It’s a spring like no other, with most of us hunkered down at home and waiting for the waiting to be over. While we wait, you can enjoy the bounty of spring fruit that The FruitGuys will be bringing to you in the weeks and months ahead until summer begins June 20th. Eating fresh fruit is one of the best ways to stay healthy and support your immune system.
Citrus is in transition—so enjoy these last few weeks of local citrus such as pummelos, blood oranges, Cara Caras, and sweet Star Ruby grapefruits. 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 be around through May. Navel oranges (the so-called “winter” orange) will transition and be replaced by Valencia oranges, which are great for eating and juicing, which will be around through the summer. What’s the difference between them? Read Navels Vs. Valencias to find out.
Soon we will see a new season’s crop of delicious, organic California strawberries. Who doesn’t love strawberries? If you don’t, see our 13 reasons to enjoy 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. (Most regions of California had little rain this winter, and at this point growers aren’t sure of the impact that may have). The FruitGuys has always sourced only organic strawberries, even in our conventional fruit boxes, because strawberries grow close to the ground and are more susceptible to pesticides used in conventional growing. Low in calories, high in taste—and packed with vitamin C—these heart-shaped fruits are everybody’s favorite. Try our recipe for Balsamic Black Pepper Strawberries.
Avocados are coming! The rich, creamy flavor of the Fuerte avocado, which is also listed in the Ark of Taste of heritage foods, 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’ll also be including batches of the Fuerte’s more well-known sibling, the velvety, delicious Hass avocado, in some mixes. We have so much to recommend about avocados from a taste and health perspective, as well as 4 tips on enjoying avocados sustainably.
The first peaches of the season will make their appearance in April. Ours will come from growers in the Salton Sea region of California. By the end of April, we will see both peaches and nectarines start to 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, with California’s cherry season starting the week of April 27, and peaking during the last few weeks of May. Not only are these bite-sized stone fruits delicious, they’re 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 starting up by late June or early July. Poached Vanilla Peaches is a fantastic treat!
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 Koru 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.
Fruit Storage & Ripening
Our fresh fruit storage and ripening tips are always helpful to review before you get your next FruitGuys box—no matter what’s inside. To see what varieties are in your Harvest and Staples boxes this week, check out this week’s mixes and just choose your region.
Elisabeth Flynn is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor, and has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit/social innovation sector.