Over the River and Through the Woods

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It's been a long day on the Russian River in Sonoma County where the
kids are barefoot, dirty, and sun soaked. The rocky river beach we're
on is filled with families who have been coming to this spot for years
- little fazes them. Big kids swing from trees on ropes overhanging
the river while the small ones wade in with their day-glo lifevests.
A few of the young ones float downstream waving their arms and legs
like capsized turtles as they shout with glee. "Billy," one parent
says looking up from her reading, "would you get your brother please.
He's floating down river again."
This time of year brings all sorts of folks to Sonoma County including
those hunting for the coveted Gravenstein apple. FruitGuys writer
Heidi Lewis tells us why this apple is so great.
Enjoy and be fruitful! chris@fruitguys.com Grab a Grav! Upstream from the Russian River lie the warm hills of Sebastopol. Right now the orchards are laden with Gravenstein apples. As the morning dew burns off, afternoon breezes bear an aroma of
apples into town. The Gravenstein apple is lauded by many as the best
apple for its balance of sweet and tart flavor. They have a
green-and-red-striped look and flesh that turns a slight blush after
the first bite. Granddaddy Botanist Luther Burbank called it the "only
apple you'll need all year." But alas they don't last that long. Their
short stems make them prone to falling from the bough. And that's not
the only reason it is a coveted pome: the acreage devoted to them is
dwindling due to encroaching vineyards. To preserve its heritage, Slow
Food has placed it in the U.S. Ark of Taste.
This 2008 Gravenstein Apple Fair - an apple expo with farm life
demos, entertainment and, of course, apple pie baking and eating
contests - falls on August 9 & 10. Stories will be told from the early 20th century when thousands of orchards turned Gravensteins into sauce, cider, and brandy that fortified the nation.
What's Fresh in the East How many people say "worth two in the bush!" when they enter the town
limits of Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? We don't
know. Benn, The FruitGuys' East Coast buyer, is headed into
Bird-in-Hand to talk with Kauffman's Farm, a 5th generation orchard
and market, about their sweet yellow peaches. They have hundreds of
varieties of stone-fruit and apples.
See what's in your office fruit delivery mix this week.

You can sign up for my weekly newsletter via email on our homepage.

Heidi Lewis.
For questions, contact info@fruitguys.com. Chris Mittelstaedt is on vacation.

 

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