By Chris Mittelstaedt
It's May 12th, 2007 and the kids are still awake. My daughter has a quizzical look on her face as she skeptically slides her freshly-lost tooth under her pillow in a legal-sized envelope. "Papa," she asks in a way that tells me I'm in trouble. "Are you the tooth fairy?" I've been waiting for this question for a long time and I've always told myself that I would be honest with my kids. Mythology is good, but I can't lie. "Well," I say. "Do you want the truth?" "Yes," she says. "Okay. Yes." She gives me a look that just a moment ago had been one of shared understanding. A look that said, "I know the game here, let's not pretend." Now it's melting into a stone stare of shocked horror. Tears trickle from her eyes and then it's a deluge. My other daughter walks into the room. "What's wrong?" she asks. "Papa is the tooth fairy!" My other daughter cries. Soon both girls are wailing in such well-orchestrated surround sound that I feel dizzy. I have earned my merit badge - you know, the one with the symbol of a wolf ripping apart a happy teddy bear at a tea party. The one that officially inducts me into the Bad Dad Club. "Are you sure?" My daughter asks me again. She's generous. "I just help the tooth fairy," I say in a waffling sort of way. "When she's really busy." The crying quiets into short and shallow breaths. The almost exorcism of the Tooth Fairy has exhausted them. "I won't help her tonight," I say. "And if your tooth is gone..." I say. "Then she exists?"
Apriums: The growing of fruit - something both simple and amazing - has generated many a mid-summer fairy story. Today I think of new fruit development in three categories spanning the spectrum from literary magic to white-coated scientist. First is random and natural. For example, the Braeburn apple appeared in a Granny Smith orchard in the mid-20th century in New Zealand - trees often throw off "sports" which are natural mutations that become new varieties. Second is hybridization by farmers. Apriums, plumcots, and pluots are examples of crossbred varieties that cultivated through a selection process over multiple generations of a plant by diligent and observant stewards. Third is GMO (manipulating the genetic make-up of a plant to achieve a desired result). The FruitGuys doesn't buy GMO fruit and we want to make a clear distinction between hybridized fruit and GMO produce. Apriums, which you will see in the organic and harvest mixes this year, are 25% plum and 75% apricot and an example of an early hybrid stone fruit. They look like apricots but also have a sweet/tart bite to them like early plums. Be the office sprite and spread the word about these fun fruits. Plumbody will love you for it. To see exactly what's in your box by region, go to fruitguys.com/mix.