Archive for the 'Orchards' Category
April is a beautiful time of year at The Fruit Company. After surviving cold winds, snow showers, and rainy winter nights Spring begins to show itself everywhere you look when you step out the front door. The Hood River valley is filled with orchards that run all the way to the base of Mt Hood. As the temperature warms the trees begin to bud and we see a the entire landscape flower before our eyes. Its a quintessentially perfect!
Naturally we celebrate this gorgeous time of year with the Hood River Valley Blossom Festival. Thousands of people from around the world come to our charming hamlet to view the cheerful blooms set against the looming snow-capped peaks of the Cascade mountains and relish the opening weekend for many of our local fruit, food and craft stands located all along the Fruit Loop.
Its a perfect time to come and visit the Gorge!
The Fruit Company® and its orchards are beyond ecstatic about the season. We’ve harvested Star Crimson, Bartlett, and Seckle pears so far and will look to pick Anjous and our world-famous Webster Comice pears in the coming weeks. Around the office we’ve all taken that “first bite of the season” from this year’s crop; our excitement was justified.
For a little taste of Harvest 2012, try our Pear Medley and Apple Medley fruit boxes. Each box features a selection of Pear and Apple varieties because you can’t get the taste of harvest without trying it all.
Or for the completists out there, try our Mixed Fruit Medley, which combines our Apples and Pears with some delectable Citrus for good measure. One bite from one of our apples or pears and you’ll be wishing it was harvest all year long.No comments
As winter spreads snow throughout the orchards here in the Hood River Valley, it’s easy to see the beginning of the growth process starting. All the leaves of last year disappear between a fresh layer of snow that covers even the deepest tractor rut. The year starts new and with it the cycle begins for these fruit trees.
Winter has a way of doing that. It’s the start of a new year which means new possibilities, experiences, and simply put, life moves forward. We hope you have a wonderful winter and wish you the best in your journey through all that this wonderful new year holds for you.
Bing cherries hang from branches, their dark merlot skin glimmering outwards towards the dirt road. They are ready to be picked. It’s a week later than expected but harvest will come; the Bings are ready, the Bings are ready. For Orchard Manager Eric Shrum, the sight of a thriving Bing crop should be cause for celebration, but it isn’t. He’s not ready to relax. There will be time for that when all the cherries have been picked, but until then, there’s work to do.
Eric Shrum works for Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, Oregon, where he manages some 2100 acres of cherries. With the help of over 400 employees during harvest, it’s Mr. Shrum’s job to make sure that Orchard View Farms and their 12 varieties of cherries turn out to be the best of the season.
The job would seem impossible. And if not impossible, impossible to do well. But listening to Mr. Shrum talk about his cherries, you would think he was a home gardener checking daily on a lone cherry tree in his back yard, urging it to grow night and day. Read more1 comment
In our 68 years of providing Orchard Fresh Gifts, we’ve picked up a thing or two. We know the ins and outs of the industry, as well as what it takes to produce the best gourmet fruit gifts available. While we’d like to think our readers shop exclusively with The Fruit Company®, we realize that there are literally thousands of options out there, all of them promising the world. With that in mind we present: Insider Gifting, a feature dedicated to providing you, our loyal readers, with the information needed for finding the perfect gourmet gift.
For today’s article, we take a look at Monthly Fruit Clubs and arm you with the questions you should be asking to ensure that you not only choose the best plan, but the one that’s right for you. Read more2 comments
Exciting news for the local Columbia Gorge area! The National Endowment for the Humanities will be presenting an exhibit honoring farming and the farm families for their contribution to the past, present, and future of the industry. This wonderful experience will be presented at the Hood River County History Museum starting March 25 running through June 20. Read moreNo comments
Over the next few weeks we are going to let you meet some of our wonderful staff here at The Fruit Company. We are a family company that focuses on building personal relationships with you the consumer. So what better way than have them tell you about their experience here at The Fruit Company.
One fun thing we have done is asked each of them to create their own avatar image. This has been alot of fun and we cant wait to show you what their minds perceptions of themselves look like. We hope you enjoy this and we are excited to share with you!No comments
by Jed, eCommerce/CS
As I drove aimlessly down the strip on my first trip through Bingen Washington I noticed out of the side window a sign that spoke of pizza. Weeks later wanting something that tasted good, and being too lazy to actually go home and cook, we turned into the gravel parking of Solstice Wood fire Café. After examining the menu, which was varied and filled with an assortment of creative pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and pasta a decision was made. It seemed as though the build your own option was the best way to satisfy the taste buds. 15-20 minutes later after topping of a salad, we dug in to the wood fire baked pizza.
There is something to be said for this method of baking. The pizza came out with a great taste and texture that was immensely enjoyed. Also a great touch was the fact that they offered a whole grain crust that made my guilty conscious somehow feels better!
Overall this was a great pizza and fun environment. On a hot day there is nothing better than sitting out in the shade outdoor eating area that is a relaxing setting to have a cold drink and have a taste of what is quickly becoming a must stop in the gorge. Having been there multiple times now I can’t help but not recommend the Chicken pasta special. Its always a great choice! You can’t ask for a healthier, hip, local spot to stop and enjoy a taste of what the gorge has to offer.
Click here to check out their menu!No comments
by Stephanie, Graphic Designer – Brand Manager
The summer is definitely nearing a close. The nights are chilly, the mornings crisp and clear, and the leaves throughout the Columbia Gorge are beginning to turn. That also means that we’re harvesting this season’s bounty of pears. In case you haven’t heard our proud boasting in our eNewsletter Fruition, Hood River County grows almost a third of the nation’s pears and we have dozens upon dozens of proud families growing pears throughout the valley.
This weekend is the Hood River Pear Celebration, timely enough, and almost all of the fruit stands, shops, and businesses (including The Fruit Company) along the Fruit Loop are celebrating our largest export. Take a winding tour along the loop through the orchards with views of stately Mt. Hood and charming vistas and enjoy the season’s bounty.
Speaking of bounty, TravelOregon.com has been a wealth of information about tourism in Oregon, including its celebration of the Oregon Bounty. Check out their fun website for further information on events, festivals, culinary delights, and more throughout our amazing state. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a huge case of Oregon Ego, and the publications and various media produced by Travel Oregon only increase that tenfold.No comments
by Stephanie, Graphic Designer-Brand Manager
Every year my family comes together for our annual sweet cherry harvest on our 30 acres of land in The Dalles, Oregon. It never fails to be hot, dusty, stressful, and altogether a rewarding and fun experience. Here’s how my day broke down on July 4th this year, our first day of cherry harvest.
4:15am: Alarm comes on. Half-conscious, I hit snooze and fall back asleep.
4:24am: Alarm comes on. For three more minutes I sleepily try to barter another few moments of sleep before I realize why I’m getting up at such a hideous hour.
4:44am: I’m out the door with a travel mug of coffee and a handful of grapes, dressed in clothes to get grubby, and ready to start Harvest 2007.
5:00am: The entire crew meets by the giant pine tree on my Dad’s property to discuss people’s roles, what fruit we’re picking that day (Bing cherries), and how we’re picking them. Everyone caravans over to what we call Field 3 with clouds of dust filling the crisp morning air. Mt. Hood gleams pink and orange in the early light.
5:20am: We have about 68 pickers this year, divided into “teams”. The pickers each grab a ladder and head off to their designated orchard rows. I’m a “bin-checker” this year, which means I record the number of buckets each picker on my team picks (say that 5 times fast), while making sure that the fruit is being harvested properly and that everything runs smoothly with our team.
6:15am: My stepsister Brooke drives by and calls me some ridiculous nickname, as is our harvest tradition. She came up from San Francisco to drive tractor for the harvest this year, which she’s done every year since we first started about 5 years ago. Half the reason we have so much fun is because she and I goof around whenever feasible. Call it sisterly bonding.
7:05am: The fruit is looking pretty decent this year. Not as big as in years past, but not too shabby. Via our walkie talkies I find out that as usual, the outside orchard rows that a couple other teams are picking have small fruit and have some bird damage. But the cherries in my 4 rows? Gorgeous. Try not to pick at least one.
7:30am: My team is doing a great job. They’re working fast and I’m having way too much fun pronouncing their names, albeit with an Italian accent instead of Spanish. Many of our regular pickers are back this year from their homes in California, so remembering names hasn’t been too difficult.
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8:45am: A weak horn honks in the distance. That can only mean the taco truck is here, barely navigating the winding dirt roads out to where we’re located. I yell out “Lonche!” for lunch and everyone runs to where the dilapidated grey van has parked. I’ve been dreaming of the taco truck’s tamales all day, and am not disappointed by 3 hot ones wrapped up in foil. A few other checkers and I sit in the shade of a tree and savor the authentic goodness. I was so excited I forgot to take pictures.
9:20am: Everyone’s faithful sidekick Porter lays down in the shade next to me, panting from his travels throughout the orchard. He loves all the new smells and activity that come with a field full of people on a hot day.
10:05am: It’s hot. Like, stupid hot. Today’s high is supposed to be 104 degrees and it’s already… well I don’t know, but it’s hot.
10:15am: Dad radios in and says our quitting time will be noon today. Anything later and the fruit becomes too soft and prone to damage. The stems pull out too easily and the flesh bruises with the slightest touch at that heat.
11:00am: Bathroom break. I run up to a porta-potty (that doesn’t stink!) and find vague amusement at the hand washing station parked next to it. I refrain from drinking the water.
11:15am: I’ve held back all day, but now I’m eating cherries. Especially our Rainiers, which we use as pollinizers in the Bing blocks. They have a little wind damage from the high winds we had earlier in the season, but again they are simply lovely.
11:30am: To keep the harvested cherries from getting too hot, we cover each full bin with a square piece of foam that’s been soaked in water. Before they’re loaded onto the truck at the bottom of the hill they’re sprayed with water again to keep them cool until they reach the warehouse 25 miles away. There they go through a system that cleans, cools, sorts and packages the cherries for distribution. They’ll be in a grocery store near you within 48 hours.
12:00pm: Quitting time! We bring out coolers full of cold soda for the workers and gather up all of the near-empty water coolers and cups. Pickers run up to their checkers and enthusiastically ask what their total bucket count was for the day. My best guy had 34 buckets, but another on a different team had an astounding 71. I yell a tired “Hasta manana!” to my team and shuffle back to my hot car, ready to go home for a shower and maybe an air conditioned nap.No comments