Apples get a lot of love—passion even. Favorite varieties are defended with vigor as if snack time were the Ninth Circuit Court. Some apples get lavished with adjectives that rival those of a sommelier at Le Cirque.
Since 2006, The FruitGuys has supported the famed and endangered Gravenstein Apple by offering a special Gravenstein box each August that benefits Sonoma County's few remaining Gravenstein apple farmers.
Like the snowy owl and the snail darter, foods can be endangered too.
New Family Farm of Sebastopol, California, was one of six farms awarded grants in April 2013 from The FruitGuys Community Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. An outgrowth of the company’s Farm Steward Program, the Community Fund gives resources to small farms for sustainable agriculture projects that contribute to environmental and economic health.
In Fall, you can’t miss the explosion of roadside color that is Hale’s Apple Farm as you drive along Route 116 just north of Sebastopol, CA. The riot of piles of brilliant gourds can cause the unwary traveler to swerve. Best pull over for a better look. Orange and white pumpkins of all sizes; butternut, acorn, speckled swans, and turban squash are all artfully draped in trees or applied as humorous accents to antique farm equipment in front of the picture-perfect redwood barn.
How about a U-Pick CSA?
There is such a thing as too much love. Lucy and Torrey Olson’s Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma County) was one of the few U-Pick apple farms in the San Francisco Bay Area. People loved to come pick Fuji apples, persimmons, and blackberries at the Olson's lovely 14-acre organic family farm.
Joe has his hands in his pockets, rocking heel to toe gazing into a crate of Gravenstein apples. Barbara Walker, who operates the Walker Apples’ booth, listens to Joe with full attention whilst her arms move like an octopus, weighing and bagging apples, making change, and nodding to other customers. Joe is a 70-year-old gent in a collared shirt, with spare pens in his pocket. He picks up a green Gravenstein apple, turns it over in his working man's hands like a crystal ball as his hat brim dips and shades his face.
The Gravenstein Apple is dear to many apple lovers for its tart taste and superior juice, sauce, and pie abilities, but it is especially dear to the residents of Sebastopol, CA (Sonoma County) where the apple is grown in the U.S.
Congratulations to longtime friend and farmer Lee Walker. Lee is being awarded the “Lifetime Contribution to Sonoma County Agriculture” by the 2008 Sonoma Harvest Fair. The Harvest Fair is an annual showcase of Sonoma's diverse agricultural bounty and an award from the Fair is consider quite a hallmark among the locals.