10 Acres and a Lady, October 17, 2005

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John Smit emigrated from the Netherlands to California in the 1960s and purchased land in Linden to start a dairy. In 1969 he began transforming his dairy farm into an apple orchard. He was intrigued by a new variety of apple that he thought had a great taste, it was called the Fuji. Over the years the Smits have added all sorts of fruit trees to their orchards and are currently in the process of converting a great deal of their crop from conventionally grown practices to organic.
This week we are featuring the Smits Pink Lady apple. They grow it on 10 acres of their farm in Linden, which is 30 minutes east of Stockton. The Pink Lady is a fragile variety and care needs to be taken when harvesting. You will notice that aside from the deep divot on the bottom of the apple and pink color, all the stems on the Lady are cut short. This is because the apple is easily damaged if it is pulled from the tree with force. Pickers grasp the apple gently, turn it upside down and then cut the stem with a small pair of sheers. The Pink Lady is also one of a few apple varieties that hang on the tree for a long period of time. The average pink lady runs 180 days from blossom to harvest.
John Smit tested the sugar on these apples with us and they came in at a 14 Brix, 16 is extraordinary for this type of apple. He claims the high sugar content and great taste are a product of the Northern California climate. 'They grow them in Washington,' he says. 'But they are not as good.'
Fuyu Persimmons
Fall is in the air and the Fuyu Persimmons are now in your Horn of Plenty crates. The Fuyu can be eaten firm or soft. Do not confuse it with the acorn shaped Hachiya which is not to be eaten firm. The Fuyu has a slightly cinnamon taste with a light apple texture. I like to peel mine with a knife and then eat. Enjoy and have a fruitful week! chris@fruitguys.com


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