Gravenstein Apple Time
With peaches, plums and strawberries galore at farmers markets, it’s hard to think about apples already.
But don’t dawdle, as it’s prime time for Gravensteins.
The heirloom apple is beloved for its juiciness, as well as its wonderfully balanced sweet-tart flavor. It’s perfect for turning into apple sauce or pies. But it has a very short growing season, and doesn’t keep long unlike other apple varieties that can last quite awhile in cold storage.
Gravensteins once were the main apple crop in Sebastopol. But as vineyards moved in, orchards soon dwindled.
Slow Food has worked hard to make sure Gravensteins don’t ever disappear.
For the past couple of years, the FruitGuys, a produce delivery service, has partnered with Gravenstein farmers to offer these storied apples — but only through Aug. 24. A box of Gravensteins start at $24, while a box of organic ones start at $40, depending upon your zip code, as they are shipped overnight. Each box is accompanied by a few Gravenstein apple recipes, too, to get you started.
Moreover, the FruitGuys are donating 17 percent of all profits from the apple boxes back to the participating Gravenstein farmers to help ensure these apples never cease to exist.
Grape to Glass in the Russian River Valley
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to take a drive to Sonoma County’s picturesque Russian River Valley, there’s no better one than the 17th Annual Grape to Glass Pre-Harvest Party, Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. at Richard’s Grove & Saralee’s Vineyard in Windsor.
The party kicks off with a tasting reception, showcasing more than 50 wineries, as well as gourmet noshes by local restaurants and caterers.
But save room for the barbecue dinner that follows, which will be prepared by Smokehouse Bistro. Dessert will be apple pie a la mode made with Gravensteins.