Seasons Change: Fall Fruit

The arrival of autumn marks a time of transition. We return to school and a “regular” work schedule (no more closing down early on Fridays to head to the beach!), we don our jackets, and we welcome the new season’s offerings.

At The FruitGuys, we’re very much attuned to nature’s seasonal changes and how its cycles bring us new harvests throughout the year. Providing the best quality, freshest fruit available in every region we serve is all about catching a fruit at its natural peak—in season. This is also central to our goal of supporting local farms and regional food economies.

Eating fruit grown locally and harvested in season is, first, good for the planet, because it requires little cold storage and fewer miles of transport; second, good for your wallet, since storage and transportation costs are reduced; and finally, good for your health, because this fruit is fresher, thus with more of its innate nutrients intact. As the Cleveland Clinic blog notes, eating foods in season reflects “the tens of thousands of years that our genes evolved in concert with the environment as our ancestors gathered food from a wide variety of sources. This diverse array of nutrients from the plants we eat (phytonutrients) work together like a symphony to support our body.” Plus, of course, fresh fruit tastes better!

While summer’s abundant crops of berries and stone fruits are waning, fall’s robust, hearty fruit varieties will soon be showing up in your Weekly Box. Here’s what you can expect:

The FruitGuys Fall Weekly Box Preview

Click on each fruit name for information on ripening, storage, and nutrition. And note that the exact mix of fruits will vary from region to region. We’ve done our best to capture the big picture.

Valencia and navel oranges will remain in abundance for some weeks yet. The Valencia, known for its sweetness and high concentration of juice, are around through late September or early October, depending on weather conditions. You may notice some “greening” of their peels at this time of year, but that’s a natural phenomenon and doesn’t interfere with their flavor. The navel, or “winter,” orange begins to appear typically in November. (See our tips on enjoying oranges at the office without making a mess!)

Apples abound in autumn! We’ve already started featuring local varieties in all regions. Chicago-area customers will see the Zestar!, Early Gold, and Paula Red. Our Philadelphia and East Coast friends also will notice the Zestar!, plus Honeycrisp and Ginger Gold. Californians are getting a taste of the Arkansas Black too.

Pears, already prominent in California, are about to make their appearance in the Midwest and the Northwest, with plenty of varieties to sink your teeth into: Forelle, Bartlett, Starkrimson, French Butter, Comice, Asian, and more.

We all soon must say farewell to stone fruits like cherries, peaches, and plums. Typically these products start to wind down after Labor Day—though Michigan is seeing an unusually late crop of nectarines this year. Weather permitting, customers in California can expect to see plums and some peaches through the end of October.

Grapes can be enjoyed in most regions through September at least.

Berries will be going away until next spring and summer, although California will continue to produce strawberries through late fall.

For more on eating locally grown, seasonal foods, check out these sites:,, and

Elisabeth Flynn is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor and has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit/social innovation sector.

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