Just before Memorial Day, I received an email that sounded too good to be true.
The Orange Shop in Citra, Florida was offering me a full bushel of grapefruit, plucked fresh from the tree, for the price of 1/2 a bushel — with free shipping!
The Orange Shop is a family farm I had located through LocalHarvest, founded in 1998 by activist and software engineer Guillermo Payet, in Santa Cruz, CA. According to information on the organization’s website, “LocalHarvest is now the number one informational resource for the Buy Local movement and the top place on the Internet where people find information on direct marketing family farms. We now have more than 20000 members, and are growing by about 20 new members every day. Through our servers, our website and those of our partners, we serve about three and a half million page views per month to the public interested in buying food from family farms.” Fruit, honey, wool items, soaps, and pies are just a few of the items you will find at LocalHarvest.
I ordered some Page oranges from the Orange Shop in December, 2011 for an older couple who love fresh fruit but don’t have the chance to enjoy it every day. They found the fruit delicious but “too juicy.” [Ah, well. Perhaps that will be me in the distant future.] The price was fair, delivery speedy, and the fruit well packed.
I stayed on the Orange Shop mailing list.
When the May email arrived, I was craving fresh fruit, so rare and pricey in New England in spring. I fondly recalled a sack of Indian River grapefruit my son had once brought back from a road trip, and I started to do some calculations. There are approximately 40 grapefruit in a bushel… Each grapefruit would cost about $1.00. [I had seen them in the local market for $1.49.]… My refrigerator produce bins were pretty empty and available.
I placed an order on Memorial Day.
A heat wave came along and I began to worry. On Saturday a FedEx man showed up at the door with a 40 lb box. The grapefruit (4 trays with a total of 44 pieces!) arrived in perfect condition, unaffected by the heat.
They may not be the most beautiful grapefruits you’ve ever seen. But they are sweet, juicy and delicious. Who cares about beauty? This shipment is just what I needed to tide me over until the CT berries and peaches come along.
I’m so happy! [8 down, 3 dozen to go…]
Have a great week.
I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”