The Grav-ity of Change

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Change has come slowly but steadily to the foods we’ve eaten over the last 70 years. While there  has been no acute onset to clearly demonstrate the difference between the food of today and  yesterday, if you take a look at local agriculture, you can see the fingerprint of change in all partsof the U.S.

In the 1940s, Northern California’s Sonoma County had thousands of Gravenstein apple orchards.  During World War II, American troops were given Gravenstein applesauce and dried Gravenstein  apples from the region. This put Sebastopol (the hub of the Gravenstein’s growing region) on the  map. Over the years, however, the Gravenstein has waned in popularity. It has a short growing  season and doesn’t store for long periods like other more commercially viable apples. Most of its  acreage was torn out and replaced with more profitable wine grapes. Today the apples are grown  on less than 1,000 acres in Sonoma County. (See the Los Angeles Times’ recent piece, "The Future  of Gravenstein Apples Hangs by a Thin Stem"). The slow change to our food culture has made this apple an endangered species.

The Gravenstein is a unique, delicious apple prized for its sweet-tart flavor. It’s considered an  heirloom: a wisp of food memory that curls over our senses, leaving us with a culinary tale of  yesteryear that starts with a smile and finishes with a bittersweet sigh. Experiencing Gravensteins  opens a door into the magic of another time—it’s a world of narrow-gauge railroad track through  open orchards; flat-bed trucks holding wide, wooden boxes filled with red-and-green striped  apples; the smell of cider and soil on a cool morning under fog-licked blue skies”¦.

You can help save the Gravenstein apple and celebrate its history. The FruitGuys is supporting the  last organic growers of Gravenstein apples in Sebastopol by offering a 5-pound box of Gravensteins  sent directly to you. Visit for more information. The boxes are only $20,  and shipping may be included, depending on your location. We’re offering them at the height of  their season—the weeks of August 15 and August 22, 2011. The season is short, so don’t wait.

As always, please check our Mix pages to find out exactly what you’re eating and where it was  grown.

Enjoy & be fruitful!



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Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.