Important Purchasing Considerations
- Also see our Frequently Asked Questions >>
Depending on the weather, temperature, humidity and rainfall, the size and taste of each fruit can vary from month to month and from year to year.
For instance, there are about 100 different varieties of peaches which are grown throughout the summer in overlapping time slots of about 2 weeks each. We can never predict which variety we will be bringing. In the final hours before each trip we make our buying decision based on flavor, ripeness, overall quality and availability. We all have our preferred varieties, but if the weather is hotter, or cooler, than normal, we will make adjustments with your expectations in mind.
So, unfortunately, it is impossible to answer your questions about the Friar Plum or the Suncrest Peaches or... With our fingers in the air and our napkins handy we won't know until the last minute.
Occasionally, we will be unable to bring any variety of a particular fruit you have ordered. Since we never know until we are on our way, it is simply not possible to call everyone. Just because we have always had cherries (or some other fruit) on the order form the first 3 trips, doesn't mean we'll actually be able to purchase the fruit. Cold, rain, hail and overseas markets are still out of our control despite our best efforts. Life happens, we adjust and refund your money or exchange your order as you prefer. Our customers have proved most gracious and flexible. (We thank you!) In only buying the finest fruit, we are servants to the weather and the market.
Of course, it's hard to beat eating great fruit right out the box. But if you find yourself craving cobbler, pies or preserves, we have compiled many of our favorite recipes. Hint: if your fruit is ripening faster than you can eat it, making jam can save some of the flavors for those cold winter mornings.
Our peaches are packed in boxes averaging 25 pounds. Half boxes are available. Earlier peaches tend to be somewhat smaller with 48-50 per case; later season crops are typically 30-36 (occasionally we find monster sizes with 24 in a box, nearly a pound each!) They generally last 4-8 days depending on weather and their ripeness upon arrival (or longer if stored in the fridge properly.) As many of our customers can attest, our peaches make spectacular jam and syrup. Another family favorite is peach cobbler.
Nectarines are very similar to peaches. Available in half boxes or full 25 pound per boxes. They do run a size smaller than peaches and have a smoother texture and slightly different flavor. Nectarines are often more colorful than their peach cousins, but not necessarily tastier. It's a matter of your own preference. Some only want nectarines, others only want peaches. Since both are available by the half box, a popular compromise is to buy a 1/2 box of each, thus keeping the family's tastebuds in heavenly bliss.
Both Bing and Rainier come in boxes 15-20lbs. The Bing with its dark red color and crisp flavor is the most popular choice. The Rainier, also known as 'Queen Anne', have a yellow/red color. They tend to be larger, sweeter and a bit softer than bings. Rainiers are more expensive, but have earned a loyal following. Cherries of both varieties are sold in full boxes only.
Don't judge a book by its cover. After getting fooled by many a pretty skin ourselves, we scoured the valley with a critical eye and sensitive palate. We now buy our cantaloupe from a single farmer who has proved his melon mastery. They are packed 9 per box and each cantaloupe weighs about 4 pounds. We sell them individually or in the box. Buy a case for best value, but be prepared to share your treasure.
Plums – half and full boxes are available. The cases average 18-20lbs. Many customers prefer the darker plums which generally come later in the season. Typically, you may expect 70 in a box but occasionally as few as 48 if we strike an exceptional crop.
All of our grapes are seedless. We bring both the Red Flame and the Green Thompsons, each with a loyal following. Both varieties are sweet and great tasting. They are sold in full boxes of 18-22 pounds only.
Our Gala apples are shipped in approximately 40 lb boxes. The Gala have a pleasingly sweet flavor and crisp refreshing texture.
Our Granny Smith apples are the national favorite apple for making those pies like your mother used to. Personally, they are a little tart for our taste, but many of our customers find them irresistible.
New this year: We are adding Fuji apples! The Japanese apple, known as Fuji, took the United States by storm in the 1980s. The combination of color, juice, and firmness is a clear winner!
Apples can be purchased in half or full boxes.
Our pears are of the Bartlett variety, and generally come in a 36 lb. box. They are sold by the full case only. Pears are unusual among our offerings because they must be picked green as they will not ripen on the tree. Depending on their condition and the temperature, it could take a few days or up to a week for yours to ripen to your satisfaction. That makes them a good keeper for those with an uncertain schedule (don't need to be eaten or dealt with immediately). The Bartletts may be eaten hard or soft, as your palate prefers.
Apricots are also available in half and full boxes. Weight per box ranges from 13-23# (each grower/farmer has his own size boxes depending on his packing machinery). Apricots tend to have a more tart flavor than our other fruits and are a favorite foundation preserves. Apricots have an early, short growing season which makes them available to us only the first and occasionally the 2nd trips.
Pluots are a modern farm miracle. The marriage of an open-minded plum and an apricot unbounded by traditional social casting. Pluots have the look and taste of a plum with a firmer, mostly apricot texture. Once over the shock, pluots quickly became a favorite of our customers. Because pluots are new to the market, there is no standard box sizes, although 15 pound cases are common. Pluots are generally sold by the full or half box.
The first year we brought figs, we were told they were like "manna from heaven." There is a small, but very loyal and vocal, fig contingent among you that demands we feed their addiction. If you've always been a closet fig lover, this is your chance for glory. Figs are traditionally a middle eastern treat, and not part of the American diet, but hey, change is good. The best figs we could find (expert fig lovers tell us) were available in a one layer 5lb box and so are sold by the whole case only.
Another unexpected farm wedding combining the pear and the apple. (where do these ideas come from?) Asian Pears (also known as Apple Pears) have more of a pear's sweet taste but are crunchy like an apple. This year, we will bring them in two layer boxes (like most of the other fruit), and each box weighs between 20-24 pounds.
New in 2005. Mother did not know that blueberries are good for you, but they are discovering that now. High in antioxidants (whatever that means), good for the brain, good for the heart. Just GOOD. One cup of these has only 83 calories. Dan loves to eat these frozen. The box contains 12 baskets of approx 6 ounces each.
Yummy....the fragile charm of berries! Not hard to eat a whole basket by yourself. You may need to hide in a closet to do this if you do not wish to share. They are also very healthy for you. Anything healthy and good that is not chocolate deserves some honor. The box contains 8 baskets of approx 12 ounces each.
The plump juicy Ruby Red raisins come in a 30 pound box. They store nicely in the freezer too.