Spreading Happiness September 3, 2007

During my freshman year in college, everyone made each class choice seem dire and grave: “Are you sure you’re making the right choice? This is the rest of your life you’re talking about here.” To let off some steam, a friend and I decided to go rogue. We “accidentally” acquired a tarp (we literally tripped over it) then we cut out a huge smiley face (30 feet tall) and planned to hang it a tree in the middle of campus. Around 2 am a security guard walked to the bottom of the tree and shone his flashlight up at us. We had dressed in black sweats and caps to camouflage ourselves against the neon banana-yellow tarp. “What are you doing?” He asked as I was struggling to tie off one end, hopelessly entangled in twine. My friend and I looked at each other. “Spreading happiness?” I said timidly. He looked up at the huge smiley face. “I didn’t see anything,” he said and walked away. Nearly twenty years later, it strikes me that I may have had a soft spot all along for things that hang in trees. It could also be that I’m just part monkey – whatever the reason, this week I had to let you know about the art of things that hang in trees.

Gabriel Farms – Artist at Work

Torrey Olson has a farm outside Sebastopol in Sonoma County where he and his family grow wonderful Asian apple pears, persimmons, and other fruit. This week’s West Coast crates have Torrey’s Asian apple pears (East Coast crates have Asian pears from Hollabaugh Brothers farm again). This variety is the Hosui Asian pear which has a light-brown/caramel color skin and is dimpled with gorgeous lighter spots. I like to refrigerate my Asian pears-eating a cold, crisp and juicy Asian pear is so refreshing. Some people find the skin a little bitter, but it really depends on your taste buds. The tender white fruit inside is sweet with a hint of butterscotch and vanilla. Torrey is truly an artist at heart, and although we don’t usually talk about other products (especially alcohol) outside of fruit here, I have to mention his Asian-apple pear brandy. When his trees are in bud, he hangs glass bottles from wires attached to the tree so that the stem and bud will grow inside the bottle. When the pear is mature, he snips the fruit from the branch into the bottle and then takes them to a distiller. Each bottle has the distilled juice of nearly 150 years. He only makes 300 bottles which sell for $75 and are a whopping 80 proof.

FYI: The mix of our fruit in the crates now varies by region as we continue to find local farmers on both coasts. Take a look at our website to see what is in your crate. https://fruitguys.com/office-fruit-delivery/this-weeks-mix

Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt chiefbanana@fruitguys.com

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