<h2>Why are organic cherries so much money this year?</h2> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>I know some of you have noticed how high organic cherry prices are this year. The wholesale market has been very volatile with reports of heavy frost, rain damage and increased pest pressure like the <a href=&quot;http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/swd_brochure.pdf&quot; title=&quot;SWD moth&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>SWD moth</a>continuing to penetrate fruit growing operations. This has driven up wholesale prices by over 60% from last year. We are seeing organic cherries selling for $9.00 a pound in some cases.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>Luckily, not only do Miranda and I own The Organic Box - we also own Just A Mere Organic Farm in <a href=&quot;https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=2916+Erickson+Road+Creston+BC&amp;hl=en&amp;ll=49.088272,-116.484861&amp;spn=0.007771,0.021136&amp;sll=49.088223,-116.485409&amp;sspn=0.003914,0.010568&amp;hnear=2916+Erickson+St,+Creston,+British+Columbia+V0B+1G1&amp;t=m&amp;z=16&quot; title=&quot;Creston, BC&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>Creston, BC</a>. This is a 14 acre fruit orchard and garden with 8 acres of cherries trees. It is in its second full year of Transition to Certified Organic (certified by <a href=&quot;http://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca/cb/memberinfo.php?id=1591&quot; title=&quot;PACS&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;>PACS</a>). This farm is a labour of love for us - I grew up spending my summers in the Creston Valley and we very much believe that organic fruit is a key part of the economic future of BC Fruit growers.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>For the past week our farm has been inundated with a group of cherry pickers from across Canada and around the world. Each year these pickers arrive the night before we start picking, setup camp in a field north of our building cluster and drag themselves out of bed every morning at 5am to pick until 11am and then sort until 5pm. They get paid by the volume of cherries they pick, so the more cherries we have the longer they work and the more they get paid. We work very hard to make a comfortable camp for our pickers and pay extra for toilets, showers, outside sinks and good shade. Happy campers make happy pickers which makes quality fruit.</p> <div><div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;><img src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/2013_camp_tents.JPG&quot; alt=&quot;2013_camp_tents&quot; title=&quot;2013_camp_tents&quot; /><img src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/2013_camp_sinks.JPG&quot; alt=&quot;2013_camp_sinks&quot; title=&quot;2013_camp_sinks&quot; /><img src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/2013_camp_kitchen.JPG&quot; alt=&quot;2013_camp_kitchen&quot; title=&quot;2013_camp_kitchen&quot; /></div><div><p align=&quot;left&quot;></p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>For a normal commercial grower, once the fruit is sorted and packed into boxes, it is shipped to a distribution warehouse for quality control and cooling. From there, it will go to a grocery store distribution network and then finally into stores for purchase. Each step of the way adds about 30% to the cost of the fruit as it is trucked and handled by the network.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>By owning our own farm, our fruit is packed in our own barn and shipped directly to our warehouse in our own trucks and then shipped to you. It is no different than a local farmer who brings his crop to our Edmonton warehouse for processing and packing into your box. (Except it takes 9 hours to drive one way and its about 1,700 km round trip). This lets us offer our fruit at very good prices compared to traditional channels.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>However, because we are so small and are committed to our own farm, crop events can have a significant impact on costs. This year, we had a beautiful cherry blossom in April with lots of fruit showing, and then on May 2nd we had a hard, serious overnight frost that killed about 75% of our crop. Our usual yield is about 35 lbs per tree, and this year we are picking about 7 lbs. It is a real heartbreaker. Fortunately, because the crop is light it has self-thinned. This means we have massive cherries on the trees and you will see the first of these in your box this week. They are noticeably different from last year and very different from the grocery store. We did lots of overwinter work to feed the trees compost and prune them hard for disease and it shows in the sweet, large crop you are getting. This is the good news.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>The more challenging news is that because the crop is so light this year our cost of production per pound is way up. Tree husbandry, utilities, inputs, transport and most other costs are fixed regardless of how much you can produce, so these fixed costs mean higher per pound prices. Higher prices aren&apos;t because we aren&apos;t trying hard enough or we are gouging you. They are because our volumes are low, our costs are high and we need to find the balance. This is no different than a local vegetable grower getting hailed out. We have made commitments to buy these and we ebb and flow with the weather and accept price impacts because of that commitment. Your commitment to us means that when we have these crop events, we aren&apos;t risking losing our farm or our livelihood, and for that we are grateful.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>So this week, we have a 2+ pound box of Rainier cherries for you to enjoy. These are probably the best cherries we have seen in a decade and I&apos;m very proud of them. I will be driving them back to Edmonton early next week in time for your boxes. We are also selling red cherries (Skeena) by the pound and both varieties by the case. This year we will have 3 weeks of cherries for you so please take advantage, support your local grower through this challenge and you will have our eternal gratitude. The buds for next year are already on the trees and it looks fantastic.</p> <p align=&quot;left&quot;>Read about the very special blush cherry - the Rainier - below. Only high-quality growers can produce high-quality Rainiers and we are proud to be in that category.</p> <div><p>Havea Great Week!</p> <p>Danny.<br />Founder, The Organic Box.</p> <h2>FeaturedProducts and Producers:</h2> <table cellspacing=&quot;15&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; bgcolor=&quot;#edf0e9&quot;> <tbody> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;Rainiers&quot; alt=&quot;Rainiers&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/rainiers.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Just-A-Mere Farm Cherries</h2> <p>These are the best of the best BC cherries. Grown on our very own farm in Creston, BC, and picked by our own crew of cherry pickers (including Danny, Miranda, and their kids)! Next week Danny is driving the first shipment of them over the mountains, directly to our warehouse for you beautiful people. Primarily we will have Rainier Cherries!! </p> <p>Rainier cherries are a special variety of cherry named after Mount Rainier in Washington, USA. They were created in 1952 at Washington State University by crossing a Bing and Van cherry. The result was an amazingly sweet, thin skinned, golden fleshed cherry with a rose tinged skin. Rainier cherries are very hard to grow as their thin skin and high glucose levels make them very susceptible to weather damage, and are extra tasty to birds and other pests. </p> <p>Our own Rainier cherries this year are of an amazing quality! Very large, super sweet, and really well intact... which is suprising considering the amount of hail storms, down pours, scalding heat, and wind that they&apos;ve been subject to up until now. We are very pleased to have them for you, and they will only be available for a very short time! So get them while you can. </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td valign=&quot;top&quot; align=&quot;center&quot;><img title=&quot;CoconutOils&quot; alt=&quot;CoconutOils&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/coconutoils.jpg&quot; /><img title=&quot;CoconutWaters&quot; alt=&quot;CoconutWaters&quot; src=&quot;/uploadedImages/009_-_This_Week/coconutwaters.jpg&quot; /></td> <td><h2>Coconuts are sooo good for you! </h2> <p>We are lucky to have access to some of the best coconut oil, water, and butter that is available! Our coconut water is very unique and comes from young coconut trees in Thailand (which produces a more nutrient dense and electrolyte rich water, it is also raw and still alive, which is why it is frozen to preserve freshness and should be consumed within 3 days of thawing out). Our coconut oil is farmed and processed on sustainable farms in the Philippines and then shipped direct to Gold Top Organics in Stony Plain, AB. This is premium, virgin coconut oil that is packaged right in our backyard and is absolutely amazing. We also have coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut palm sugar and nectar! All certified organic. All fantastic quality. And why should you be interested in coconut products? </p> <p>- The healthy oils in coconuts can be attributed to lowering cholesterol, increasing metabolism, increasing energy, and preventing against illnesses such as Alzeihmers. </p> <p>- Coconut water is packed full of healthy electrolytes and nutrients making it a fantastic choice to rehydrate after a workout. </p> <p>- There are also lots of topical applications for coconut oil. It&apos;s a great natural moisturizer for your skin and hair! </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div></div></div>