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  1. #1

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    What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    The last few years the peaches, nectarines, and to a lesser extent, plums, have all been terrible. Only apricots seem to be "normal".

    They are either all rubbery, or more commonly, they stay hard as rocks and simply go bad before they get ripe. I`m familiar with the ripening manipulation they do with bananas, where they pick them green and keep them from ripening in transit, then "power" ripen then with a combination of temperature and ethylene gas when they get here.

    I`m presuming they have started doing something similar with the stone fruits. The only good peaches I have gotten in the last couple of years are the local ones I have gotten at a farm stand. Well, that`s not entirely true, once in a while you get lucky, but for the most part I`m afraid to buy any of this kind produce when 90% of the time they are terrible.

    What`s your experience or knowledge on this subject?
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  2. #2
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    I know from working in the California Agri-Business for almost 20 years, that all fruit has to be harvested early to it can have time to get to a Packing House, in usually intense heat, then sorted by hand, packed into cartons and then placed in huge Coolers where the air is measured precisely so the amount of gas coming from the fruit in these huge quantities does not speed up the ripening process too much.

    They use technology to measure the gas and remove it if it exceeds the limits set for that fruit.. This is a moving number if the fruit stays longer in the Cooler than anticipated, of course..

    I don`t recall them ever telling me they manipulated the gas to speed up the ripening, instead just letting the fruit in the cartons do that on its own, and as you and all of us know, fruit left in a bowl with a tall cover that has vents on it will ripen up pretty good, just sitting out on your counter..

    Written in Stone - The BEST Fruit goes to the Highest Dollar Paid for It...

    The only thing I can think of is that what you purchased is probably left over fruit that was imported during the Winter months where you live, from places like the huge agribusiness ventures outside of Santiago, Chile, who has the opposite seasons of the USA, etc..

    And back then, all this fruit from Chile, was - Shipped - over the Ocean. So there is lots of room for error in controlling the temps and gas on those ocean voyages..
    Of course, the same rule applied, harvest it early so it has time to make the trip, etc., and hope it all works out...

    Speaking of fruit, until the normal, later summer Harvest September time frame for Apples happens, we are purchasing Apples that have been in controlled Cold Storage from Last Year`s harvest.. Which explains why they are less tasty as the time comes back around for the new harvest..

    Perhaps the fruit you purchased was indeed left overs from the last Chilean harvest a long time ago..

    This company I worked for invested over $25 million to go the Aconcagua Valley in Chile and set up their own perfectly precise way of doing what I said above during our Winters in the USA, Canada, etc., but it ended up being too unstable government-wise down there and the Country expected us to Adopt all the people we employed there and basically take care of them monetarily for LIFE...

    This company eventually took a huge hit because of that, and me and few others were laid off right before we had 20 years, on purpose, to not have to pay a full pension for the measly money we made there anyway..

    Blue Anchor, Inc, founded in 1901 eventually folded and I have no idea what happened to all those people.. It represented over 1,000 independent Growers who worked thousands of acres of beautiful orchards in the central valley of California, in Arizona, Mexico, and of course, Chile for a few years...

    Here is a hint that might help.. Have a look at the box the fruit came in and read the label.. It should identify where that box of fruit came from...

    I don`t have access to really great places to shop for fruit out here in the hinterlands of NorCal now, so I apologize I cannot be of further assistance..
    Dan F
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  3. #3

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Stokdgs--the particular box of nectarines that caused me to start this thread is "produce of USA" from SunWest in Parlier, CA, which is see is in the south Central Valley. These boxes of peaches and nectarines sold at Trader Joe`s used to be really good and would disappear from the store quickly, but now they are crap like the others. Maybe these have been in cold storage since last year.

    Many years ago I visited in the bay area and had fond memories of driving through the farm areas stopping at the roadside stands. About 10 years ago I was out there again, and was unable to find the places I had stopped at, there were only huge office parks, etc. Afterwards I asked someone from out there where it was that I had driven through those years before, and they said all those office parks WERE the farms...

    We have gone through the same thing here in NJ with farms being sold and redeveloped, although we now have some farmland preservation legislation to monetarily reward farmers for keeping their land as farms. I go to a pick-your-own apple orchard here in NJ in Sept-Oct; they make no secret that they put a lot of apples in cold storage to sell at their farm store until the next harvest.

    I`m lucky that for a few months I get to eat apples I picked myself, and I also found a nice farm with a little stand in the corner of their corn field, and for a month or two during the summer can get corn that was just picked that morning, along with some other vegetables from their farm, and sometimes some peaches or apples that they get from other local farms. And some cherry tomatoes that I grow in my back yard--got some mini peppers going this year too. I think you started a thread on that topic a year or two ago.

  4. #4
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Georgia peaches can’t be beat. Freshness counts.
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Apples are going through the same scenario. I cannot find decent Granny Smith`s green apples.

    This whole weird, wet,cool weather is reeking havoc on corn, soybean, and wheat farmers and depressed milk prices are causing many smaller 3rd and 4th -generation family dairy farmers to quit the farming business in my home state of Wisconsin, and it has a cascading economic effect on many rural towns and agri-businesses. I can do without a lot of things; food is NOT one of them.
    GB detailer
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  6. #6
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Setec --
    I remember we used to purchase some awesome oranges and lemons from a great Commercial Citrus grower in San Jose !!! Of course this was before Silicon Valley got really going and then they just bought everyone out for small change (millions), etc.. His Brand label was Airdrome Orchards, San Jose, California..

    From stories I heard from my dear Mother who lived as a small child in Southern California, and of course, all the Armenian Growers who grow all the awesome fruit in the Central Valley and beyond N/South, this entire state was capable of growing about any produce, fruit to nuts, throughout the entire state ! Wow - that must have been beautiful to see..

    And it is so cool that in different parts of CA the soil is also different and none of it is bad in that huge farming valley almost all the way to Arizona..
    There is this just Perfect Sandy Loam Soil throughout the Central Valley and if you go North east to Auburn, CA, it is this rich, black, volcanic soil..
    And yes, very sadly, in Northern CA for sure, all these really rich farmlands that have been going well over 100 years are sold off to build housing and buildings too..
    I would just love to have anything that resembles those 2 perfect growing mediums, where I live !

    The local farmers are now going to be the best bet but I would still ask how they take care of their land - are they using chemicals or trying to do it as organic as possible, etc...

    Are there any Publix Markets up there where you live now ? We used to ship a huge amount of fruit to them when I worked for Blue Anchor back then.. I cannot remember all the places but I know we shipped first, refrigerated rail cars loaded to the top, and 18 wheeler-reefers carrying 38 pallets, 60 boxes/pallet all the time back East and to Canada, especially Montreal..

    We kept England Trucking busy for the almost 20 years I was there..

    It used to be that the prices for each day of fruit and produce were set at the New York Auction, where all this stuff was sold very early each morning or perhaps even after midnight that morning.. And those prices set the Market Price and the tone for that day.. Every day..

    I will never see a Trader Joe`s around here... I have shopped them a lot when I lived in Folsom, CA and of course, the Pacific Northwest.. Great stores, great inventory..

    Tell the produce guy there next time -"" This fruit is so bad, does it even register on your Brix meter???????"" If he doesn`t understand, he is not really a Produce guy, he is just a Lumper, moving boxes of it..

    Brix is the amount of soluble sugar in the specimen tested.. Blue Anchor always wanted the highest Brix readings and we had Field guys out in those thousand acres orchards measuring all the time to insure we shipped the best tasting product..

    Perhaps that is not the way of doing the business any longer?? If so, that is really, really, sad..

    When Thompson Seedless grapes come back this year, the absolute Sweetest ones will be the - amber colored bunches - They are that color because they stayed out in the sun the longest, and sun on grapes makes them sweet.. The real light green ones - not so sweet - perhaps not sweet at all because they were harvested way too soon.. But you have to have - Shelf Life - Never mind the taste - does it - Look - good ???

    I had never liked all the Red Delicious apples grown in Washington State because even just 1,000 miles north of me, they tasted bland, no sugar, very little moisture content, pretty much very nice looking red delicious apples, but nothing inside..

    When Blue Anchor started selling Fuji Apples, wow, those were always really, sweet, lots of juice, very predictable, never any issues like all the marketed to death varieties..

    Even a cross between a good Golden Delicious and Red Delicious grown locally can also really taste great without that commercial cardboard flavor of R/Del from Washington, at the store...

    Well, now one does NOT want to take a trip to what was once Beautiful San Francisco.. Out of control homeless people doing awful things on all the public streets, the same streets you walk and then ride the cable car to a different part of that once beautiful city... Its a disaster now.. Some people say its - worse - than some 3rd world countries.. Hard to believe legislators (?) would let that happen..

    I can`t remember starting a similar thread years ago; wow, I am so sorry for repeating myself..
    Dan F

  7. #7
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Apples are going through the same scenario. I cannot find decent Granny Smith`s green apples.

    This whole weird, wet,cool weather is reeking havoc on corn, soybean, and wheat farmers and depressed milk prices are causing many smaller 3rd and 4th -generation family dairy farmers to quit the farming business in my home state of Wisconsin, and it has a cascading economic effect on many rural towns and agri-businesses. I can do without a lot of things; food is NOT one of them.
    Hey Lonnie !
    Are you looking at Granny Smith`s from New Zealand, or the local ones from the USA ? Perhaps the ones you see are really, really, old last year`s harvest specimens that are past the end of their shelf life.. Used to be fruit like that would - never - be put out for sale...

    Well, you are probably right - the weather - everywhere - is off kilter a bit now, and that of course, changes temps which affect apples a lot.. Hopefully, someone will get some good ones out there to your store again..

    I remember my old company shipping a lot of fruit to a big broker in Green Bay back in the day.. And to some other chain grocery stores but I cant remember all their names...
    Dan F

  8. #8

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Hey Lonnie !
    Are you looking at Granny Smith`s from New Zealand, or the local ones from the USA ? Perhaps the ones you see are really, really, old last year`s harvest specimens that are past the end of their shelf life.. Used to be fruit like that would - never - be put out for sale...

    Well, you are probably right - the weather - everywhere - is off kilter a bit now, and that of course, changes temps which affect apples a lot.. Hopefully, someone will get some good ones out there to your store again..

    I remember my old company shipping a lot of fruit to a big broker in Green Bay back in the day.. And to some other chain grocery stores but I cant remember all their names...
    Dan F
    They are USA grown apples (State of Washington). Yes, they are last year`s apples. Wisconsin apples just do not keep well, and yes, we have a few apple growers in Door County, Kickapoo Valley , and Bayfield County areas of Wisconsin.

    A large food distributor in Green Bay, WI is SuperValu that is still in business. A local fruit and vegetable distributor is Zimonick Bros. that have been around awhile.
    GB detailer
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  9. #9
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    I try to not buy WA State apples because they just are not good and have not been for decades.. Perhaps that is a little harsh, but I have tasted way, way, better apples grown locally for fun and commercially in California; even in a friend`s back yard where a red delicious and golden delicious were crossed and that tree made a zillion beautiful golden/red apples that tasted like Nectar of the Gods... Wow, they were so good..

    If you ever get to try some CA Fuji apples, I think you might like those also.. They are good for cooking as I recall, but of course, the Industry Standard of the World, Granny Smith, still has that "bite" edge that really kills it in a good home made apple pie, or eaten out of hand..

    I recall another location in your WI we shipped a lot of fruit to and it was Sheyboygan, WI..
    Dan F

  10. #10

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Are there any Publix Markets up there where you live now ?
    No, no Publix up here in the northeast, AFAIK.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Well, now one does NOT want to take a trip to what was once Beautiful San Francisco.. Out of control homeless people doing awful things on all the public streets, the same streets you walk and then ride the cable car to a different part of that once beautiful city... Its a disaster now.. Some people say its - worse - than some 3rd world countries.. Hard to believe legislators (?) would let that happen..
    As I said, last time I was there was about 10 years ago, and it was fine, a few beggars down by the Wharf. Then I took that drive all the way around the bay looking for those lost farms....

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    I can`t remember starting a similar thread years ago; wow, I am so sorry for repeating myself..
    Not at all...I think someone started a thread about what they were planting in their garden, and I thought you chimed in.
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  11. #11

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    I`m pleasantly surprised to see people here eating real, unprocessed, fruit

    Yeah, (US sourced) Granny Smith apples are a crapshoot in my area too. Luckily for me, I`m not *that* discerning and the Washington state ones from Aldi are generally OK (to me, maybe not to others). But my wife was just saying that their Fuji ones haven`t been all that good lately.

  12. #12

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    I`m pleasantly surprised to see people here eating real, unprocessed, fruit
    Hey, I live in The Garden State, it says so on our license plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Yeah, (US sourced) Granny Smith apples are a crapshoot in my area too. Luckily for me, I`m not *that* discerning and the Washington state ones from Aldi are generally OK (to me, maybe not to others).
    The self-pick orchard I go to has Granny Smiths, I`m usually there too early for them, but one year I got some and they were the best I`ve ever had...of course it`s pretty hard to beat eating them the day you pick them.

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    No, no Publix up here in the northeast, AFAIK.




    As I said, last time I was there was about 10 years ago, and it was fine, a few beggars down by the Wharf. Then I took that drive all the way around the bay looking for those lost farms....



    Not at all...I think someone started a thread about what they were planting in their garden, and I thought you chimed in.
    I am not sure where exactly your at in Ohio but, when I visit family it is in the Indian Lake and Wapakoneta areas. The Amish population is big through the IL and Bellfountaine areas.

    The apples I pick up at one of their stores is AMAZING. The honey crisp are huge and juicy. He has made the comment that his apples come from Pennsylvania at times.

    KM

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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    Quote Originally Posted by screeby View Post
    I am not sure where exactly your at in Ohio but
    Me either!

  15. #15
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    Re: What is Going On With Stone Fruits?

    I`m in NE NJ and generally buy strawberries and blueberries at the "higher end" supermarkets - Whole Foods, Kings and Fairway. And those are both a crapshoot. I told my wife last night (after eating some USA blueberries that were tasteless and gritty) that I`m going to hold off until these are in season. I also go to the Farmers Market (Montclair) on Saturdays and get some tasty, fresh vegetables. About 3 weeks ago I bought some steaks, lamb and ribs from a vendor there who has his own farm about 30 miles from me and that meat was noticeably more tasty than the meats bought from the above supermarkets. The same for their burattas.

 

 
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