Archive for March, 2012
In honor of the Sweet Sixteen fever this weekend we decided to post our own Sweet Sixteen competition! Go to facebook and vote between the eight matchups listed below featuring the best fruit direct from The Fruit Company® Happy voting!
This powerhouse fruit, in production since the 18th century, ripped through the competition in the early rounds knocking out top seeded favorites Honeycrisp Apples and Comice Pears. With overall four million tons produced last year, this berry clearly has support, but does it have what it takes to make it all the way to the finals?
A relative newcomer, Asian Pears have taken the United States by storm in the last few years, as evidenced by their quick victories over Passion Fruit and Baby Bananas. But many people still don’t know quite what to make of Asian Pears. Are they an apple or a pear? Do you cook with them or eat them fresh? This lack of familiarity may hurt them later in the tournament.
Knocked out in the first round by Strawberries, the Comice Pears were brought back by The Fruit Company CEO after the White Nectarines were found cheating; something about “juicing”. Once called the “Cadillac” of pears, do these soft and sweet pears still have the power to make it to the finals?
An underappreciated sibling of the Peach, Nectarines have made great strides in developing their own strength in recent years. Many commentators prefer the smoother skin over the fuzz of peaches and apricots. But can this trait take it to the finals, and what happens if Nectarines are forced to face off against Peaches?
Commanding an amazing 34% of all pear production in the Unites States, Anjou (or D’Anjou) Pears are the true workhorse of the tournament. No flash, no storied history, the Anjou Pear simply gets the job done and is enjoyed by many. Will the classic hardworking Anjou Pear beat out the flashier and more perishable competitors?
The underdog of the tournament, Ugli Fruit has the worst appearance and even poorer recognition. The Ugli Fruit did however manage to best popular Bosc Pears and Jonagold Apples and outlasted all other citrus except Tangelos to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Once people experience the Ugli Fruit for themselves, they are hooked, blown away by its flavor and humble mystique.
With a history as old as time itself, the Pomegranate is poised to power its way to the finals. A bonafide superfood, the Pomagranate regularly makes headlines in the health and wellness world. With its anti-oxidizing ferocity and widespread popularity, will the Pomegranate be unstoppable?
Dark, mysterious and full of flavor, Bing Cherries are a dominant stone fruit player in the competition. But will the fact that they are only available a couple months out of the year heightened their buzz or cause them to burn out early?
Named for the German word for “trout”, Forelle Pears are beautiful and elegant, and gracefully swept past rival Granny Smith Apples and Quince. What they lack in size and physicality, the more than make up for in appearance and style, and any fruit would be foolish to dismiss them as a challenger.
The Pink Lady Apples hade a couple of close calls against the exotic Starfruit and sugary sweet Seckel Pears, but managed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Look for them to foster their avant garde texture and bright colors in their battle to the finals. The Pink Lady Apples may not have the recognition that the other apples in the tournament have, but don’t count them out yet.
Also known as Honeybells, Tangelos are a hybrid fruit combining the power and flavor of grapefruit and tangerines. Recognized by their odd shape and vibrant color, Tangelos are the favored citrus fruit in the competition. They have a tough fight ahead, but are supported by two of the largest states, Florida and California.
The prima donna of the tournament, Rainier Cherries are fragile, temperamental, and absolutely amazing! While they had an easy couple of rounds against the unknown Custard Apples and erratic Apricots, Rainier Cherries are an extremely popular fruit and favored by many against the other stone fruits in the competition.
While Fuji Apples don’t have the history of heirloom varieties or the recent popularity of apples like the Honeycrisp or Pink Ladies, they prove year after year that they have the flavor and crunch to be a formidable opponent and fan favorite. Will their reliability and sweetness be able to carry them to the finals?
You can definitely say that Kiwi are unique in the competition. There is nobody else that looks, tastes, or performs like they do, making the Kiwi a force to be reckoned with since its introduction to the United States in the 1950s. Love them or hate them, the Kiwi are in it to win it.
One of the most popular fruits in the world, Peaches are sure to put on an impressive show in their march to the finals. But having faced two citrus fruits early with Navel Oranges and Kumquats, are Peaches set to fall in a competition dominated by stone fruit?
There are very few fruits more recognizable and enjoyed in the tournament than Watermelon. A picnic favorite, Watermelons are practically synonymous with summer time fun. Their size and thick rind could pose a problem however against smaller more versatile fruits.1 comment
If you happen to be in the company of your gift giver, a verbal thank you is all that is required of you. A follow-up thank you note is a very gracious gesture of thanks, but by no means necessary.
Try to send the thank you note as soon as you can, especially if you received the gift by mail so the sender knows that you did in fact receive it. Make sure to address the note to whoever signed your gift’s card, and always mention the gift specifically. If you’re thanking someone for an event such as a dinner party, address it to the host and possibly anyone else that might have helped with the occasion.
There is never a wrong way to write a gift card, just remember to speak genuinely from the heart. Taking the time to write your note by hand, especially in the age of emails and cell phones, really adds a special touch. You don’t need to write an essay—keep it brief and to the point.
If you’ve sent a gift to someone who is ill, possibly a patient in the hospital, proper etiquette dictates that a thank you card from them isn’t necessary until they are well enough to write one, for obvious reasons.
The phrase “better late than never” certainly applies to thank you cards. While you really should send one as soon as possible, a nice note or letter is appreciated at any time. In fact, you probably have a few people you should be thanking right now, don’t you think?No comments
Spring in the Hood River Valley means two things: orchards full of delicate blossoms and the inevitable frosts that threaten them. Weather monitoring allows fruit growers to keep a closer eye on the temperature during this time of year, and if at night it dips below freezing alarms will sound and people rush into the orchards to protect the sensitive blooms. For decades the main line of defense was diesel-fueled smudge pots that are placed amongst the trees and used to chase away the cold. In more recent years gigantic fans can also be used to push the rising warm air back to the earth and displace the cold drafts.
Here at The Fruit Company we are proud to that our orchard operation has gone entirely propane with our smudge pots. Instead of adding to the diesel pollutants in the air we are now burning propane gas, which is drastically better for our environment.
Pollination is also incredibly important during the blooming season. Honeybee hives are placed in the orchards in order to pollinate the blossoms and ensure a bountiful crop in the autumn. Many blocks of pear trees have crabapple trees interspersed throughout as they are more attractive to the bees and it prevents them from straying and seeking other flowers in the vicinity. Once the honeybees are done pollinating an orchard their hives are moved to another orchard to continue to process, oftentimes with many different fruit growers sharing the same bees in a season.
Besides propane smudge pots and natural pollination, we are also utilizing a new innovative planting style in our orchard operations that will not only increase fruit production but also improve the safety for all employees working in the orchards and conserve land use in our beautiful Hood River Valley.No comments