The Orange Shop

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End of the Season?

By: KIM HOFFMAN    (Jan 31, 2013)

I was shocked at the appearance of my Honeybells when they arrived. They looked like they went through a meteor shower - scared, grey spots, bruised. This surprised me since they were "freshly" picked and were only in transit for two days. I noticed at my local grocer that their Honeybells didn't look any better than mine.

Despite their appearance, they were rather large and tasted just fine.

Comments on this Review:

Pete & Cindy Spyke says:    (Feb 2, 2013)
Kim, thanks for posting your review. I picked up three points -- there were blemishes on the fruit, they looked bruised, and despite appearances, they tasted good. In regards to the blemishes, Honeybells are susceptible to a number of causes of blemishes, and to prevent them, people apply up to 12 sprays a year. However, we believe in a low-intensity approach that relies on natural preventions of problems rather than spraying a lot. Usually, it works OK and the fruit turns out to be very nice. In some cases, more often with Honeybells than others, there will be periods of imbalances in the ecosystem, and blemishes can occur. If we throw all that fruit away, the energy and other inputs required to produce a crop would be wasted. So, in that case, we grade out only the worst fruit, and if the remainder is sound and good tasting, albeit a bit more blemished than we'd like, we ship them. Most of our customers understand this, and appreciate the philosophy we use, but occasionally someone who is expecting the perfect fruit that is a consequence of intense pesticide use and heavy grading, they can be disappointed when they open a box and find blemished fruit. We certainly apologize if we haven't made all this clear -- there is a discussion on Local Harvest that explains our approach that can seem like a lot of "fine print" -- and hope that the flavor and juiciness of the fruit helped offset any impression as to the appearance. In regards to the bruising, this is of more concern. We harvest and ship immediately, and every fruit is perfectly good when it leaves our packinghouse -- it is rare that the time interval between harvest and shipping is more than 48 hours. So, if the fruit appeared to be bruised, it was a consequence of rough handling during the shipping process by Fedex or the Post Office. We will look into your shipment to see what happened, because it's important to us that the fruit is handled carefully. In the meantime, if any of the fruit you received was beyond salvage, be sure to let us know so we can send a replacement for any that are lost -- which is our 100% arrival guarantee. Many thanks.