Swimmer Meet Orchard Walker

I took a late vacation in 2009 – one week at the end of August up at the Russian River in Northern California. We rent a small house that’s down a bumpy one-lane road, up and over hills, and through redwood-shaded canyons. Kids gather on the rocky beach, their shoulders heaving up and down like marionettes as they walk delicately over the hot stones and into the water. Parents grind the screw end of their beach umbrellas into the gravel, their arms aching as if finishing a shift on the largest pepper mill known to humans. Americans plus summer always seems to equal water.

From my Philly summers spent down at The Shore (translation – a New Jersey beach); through my wide-eyed New Orleans time as family members slalom water-skied around gators in swampy rivers (I skipped that one); to blue crabs and July 4th along the Chesapeake; and finally to California rivers and beaches, it strikes me that as Summer comes to a close, lots of folks are either longing for, or getting in, their last week of water time before heading back to their Fall lives.

John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” has always been my favorite summer-water short story. It takes in the different lives of pool owners as Neddy Merrill crosses the suburbs by swimming pool-by-pool through their backyards. (Let’s overlook the hopelessness and the ennui for a moment.) I sometimes feel like I am swimming from one orchard to the next, tasting the seasons’ movements as one variety of fruit cools, and another glows warmly with the harvest.

As the seasons transition from Summer to Fall, so does the fruit that you will see in your mix. In the West, it is possible to see Organic heirloom Bronx Grapes and Torrey Olsen’s spectacular Asian Apple Pears rise, while Blake Carlson’s peaches and nectarines fade away. In the East, Kauffman’s peaches are winding down while his apples and pears are coming in. You can cross orchards without getting wet by swimming through the fruit listed on our In The Mix page at fruitguys.com. Just click on your region!

And to those parents with kids heading off to college for the first time good luck to all. Check out our special fruit delivery for college kids at dormsnack.com. We wanted to give parents a way to send something healthy and good to their kids when they’re far away from home.

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

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