From California to Vermont: Avocados are the Perfect Gift!



It’s amazing to know that the avocados in that box were still on the trees in California on Monday morning…and today is Wednesday, and they have arrived by mail in Vermont. !  And today I’m in Vermont too!

I know those avocados were picked Monday because   I could  hear the clatter of the ladders being moved as I enjoyed my coffee on Monday morning at home on the avocado ranch. (Yes, we call it a ranch!)   I knew I would be traveling to Vermont to visit my mother on a red-eye flight that evening.   I planned to carry some avocados in my luggage that were picked last week…so they would be ripe for the weekend.  But I also wanted to order a gift box from our family farm business called California Avocados Direct.


Our son,  “Farmer Ben” was working  in the office he set up for California Avocados Direct on Monday morning.  He was filling the orders that came in on the website   Those gorgeous Fuerte avocados are in the peak of their season…they are sooo creamy right now, and the flavor is out of this world.

It’s no wonder that folks all over the USA want to get some of these beauties…they aren’t available in stores.   The mail man drives his little truck right up to the office and picks up the boxes of avocados that have been picked to order. Some people order the jumbos in the “Big and Tall” gift box.  Others prefer the medium sized avocados.   Lots of people sign up for a subscription, so they get a box or two of our fresh avocados throughout the year.   We’re shipping Fuerte avocados right now, but next month we’ll start shipping the popular Hass variety with the bumpy skins.   In July we’ll ship our Reed variety…cannnon-ball shaped.  Huge and delicious!


Monday was  a sunny spring day on the ranch, with wild flowers already blooming!   I knew I would be going to the cold, snowy mountains of Central Vermont,  so I needed to take some  warm clothes, but I packed lightly because I wanted to leave room in my suitcase for those precious avocados!

I left San Diego about 9:30 pm and flew direct to JFK in less than 5 hours.   After a 4 hour layover,  the flight to Vermont took about an hour.  Then we drove 50 miles from Burlington to Barre.  It was quite a contrast to see ice on the rocks as we drove along  Interstate 89!


When I got to my mother’s house, I was so excited to see her and our daughter Marianne, who has been staying with her grandmother since last October.   I couldn’t wait to bring out the beautiful Fuerte avocados that would be ripe and ready to eat this weekend!   When I opened my suitcase, I discovered that the precious creamy deliciousness had been STOLEN!

So of course, I tweeted about it.  And I filed a claim with Jetblue, who gave me a $15 credit.  But that doesn’t make up for the loss of  our weekend avocados…sliced on omelettes,  on soups, on toast.  Sniff.

This morning we woke up to snow!  Beautiful snow!


When the mail lady drove up the road,  Marianne went right out to meet her because we knew the box of avocados from California Avocados Direct would be coming!  It takes only two days to ship from our ranch in Southern California to Vermont!


This is the first winter that Marianne has ever spent in the snow.  She has learned to drive in it,  and she goes out there without any boots too!  See the box?  Those are the avocados!


We opened the box and found the customized gift box that Farmer Ben packed,  including that pretty green ribbon to help open the  precious gift!


The avocados are carefully packed with wood excelsior.  Avocados are rock hard when they are first picked, and soften up gradually over the next 7 -9 days.   There is a ripening guide included in each box.   When an avocado is soft enough to eat,  it will “give” as you press your thumb against the skin while holding the avocado in your hand.  Don’t try to cut or mash a hard avocado!  Wait until the avocado ripens!


When we remove them from the box,  we put a few in the cool laundry room (about 45 degrees) in the basement,  and we keep some upstairs in the warm kitchen, so they won’t all be ready to eat on the same day.   Sometimes we put a few in a brown paper bag with an apple to try to encourage the avocado to soften sooner.  The natural gas emitted from the apple will help ripen the avocado.    When the avocados are soft and ready to eat,  we can ‘hold’ them for a few days in the refrigerator.  But never put them into the refrigerator before they are soft,  or they may not soften at all!


You can imagine how excited Mom and Marianne are to get fresh California avocados direct from the farm!  Especially the Fuerte variety that aren’t available in stores.   These avocados have not been rolled through machinery,  have not spent time in a cooler,  have not been sitting in a distribution facility…they were picked on Monday and arrived in our kitchen on Wednesday….in Vermont!


Isn’t it amazing that this avocado can go from Farmer Ben’s hand to my mother’s hand … direct from California?!  He’s happy to send avocados to his grandmother!


Don’t you just love Grammy?  In her 90’s,  she loves to eat avocados … they’re delicious,  fresh and healthy!   She likes the smaller ones so she can eat half one day and half the next,  so we usually send her the medium size avocados.   We won’t have any trouble eating the jumbo avocados though…there are three of us here to enjoy them!


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