Have you ever seen or tasted a Pink Pearl apple? The first time I encountered this crisp, colorful heirloom fruit, I was completely amazed. The exterior of the apple is a warm, deep gold, often speckled with fuchsia. But when you cut into the fruit, you discover that the flesh is a stunning, vibrant pink color. It is one of the most beautiful and unique apples I have ever seen. Very tart, the apple is fantastic in pies, and it also makes lovely applesauce. Its season is fleeting – it often appears for only a week or two, and the only place I’ve ever found it in the region is at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (where they sell out almost instantly).
But yesterday I found out that Pink Pearl apples will be making a brief appearance at several “In the Grow” farm stands. A project of local Soil Born Farms (www.soilborn.org) and the Health Education Council, “In the Grow” farm stands are funded by the First 5 Sacramento Commission and are operated near Head Start pre-schools around Sacramento. The stands (there are six) provide parents with the opportunity to purchase fresh, affordable, locally produced fruits and vegetables for their families, and they are also open to the public. The produce sold at the stands comes from Soil Born’s two certified organic farms (located on Hurley Way in the Arden area and on the American River in Rancho Cordova) and from other local growers. The selection changes each week based on what is in season and available.
Certified organic Pink Pearl apples (from Smit Ranch in Linden, CA) will be available this week at the Thursday (Del Paso and North Highlands) and Friday (Rancho Cordova) farm stands. You can bet I’ll be there.
The hours and locations of the “In the Grow” farm stands are available at http://soilborn.org/head_start.html. If you’re interested in receiving a weekly “what’s available” email, contact Carolyn Reuman at Soil Born Farms, (916) 363-9685.