September 26, 2011

Have You Ordered Your 4-H Apples and Pecans?

Jean Rogalsky, 4-H Youth Development Agent

Time is running out to order your 4-H apples and pecans. The last day to order is October 4.

This fund raiser of the Pinellas County 4-H Foundation benefits those who purchase the apples and pecans as well as the Pinellas County 4-H program. The buyers of the delicious apples receive a nutritious product fresh from the tree. The pecan buyers receive a versatile nutritious product guaranteed to be this year's crop. Did you know that store pecans are sometimes stored from the year before?

Benefiting from the purchase of the apples and pecans are the 4-H members. Each year $6,000.00 is allocated to assist 4-H members to attend Camp Ocala, 4-H Congress, weekend leadership workshops, compete at regional and national level, and other educational opportunities. As one 4-H member wrote, "At camp I made the best new friends and learned how important communication and respect is. Without the scholarship, my parents couldn't afford to send me and I wouldn't have had these great friends or learned so much!"

There are two kinds of apples offered in full or half bushels. A bushel of apples, in case you've forgotten, is approximately 40-42 pounds.

EMPIRE - This is a cross between a Red Delicious and McIntosh. They are medium sized fruit with dark red skin with a sweet tangy flavor that resembles McIntosh though with better color, flavor and keeping ability.

CRISPIN/MUTSU- This apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo made in 1930 in Japan and introduced in 1948. It was renamed Crispin in England, a name that still persists in the US. The large to extra-large fruit has a yellow green skin with flesh similar to Golden Delicious though, slightly coarser in texture and tarter in flavor. This is an excellent all-purpose apple (baking, freezing, apple jelly/apple butter) that keeps well.

Whichever type of apple you buy, you will be purchasing one of the most nutritious fundraising items. While an apple a day may not keep the doctor away, apples are one of the best snack choices to make.

A medium sized apple contains 81 calories and zero grams of fat. Eating one apple will supply you with 3 grams of dietary fiber (12% of Daily Value) and surprisingly, 13% of the Daily Value of vitamin C. (National Dairy Council)
A full bushel of apples sells for $34.00 and half bushel for $20.00.
The plain Georgia pecans are sold in 16 ounce bags in halves or pieces. They sell for $10.00 a bag.

The chocolate covered, cinnamon glazed, and cluster pecans come in a decorative 12 ounce bag. They also sell for $10.00.

A one-ounce serving of plain pecans (approximately 20 halves) contains 196 calories, 20.4 grams total fat (1.8 saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 2.7 grams dietary fiber and over 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and zinc. One ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for fiber. Pecans are also a natural, high-quality source of protein. Pecans are also naturally sodium-free.

The apples and pecans are due to arrive the last week of October. Pickup dates for the apples and pecans are Oct. 26, 27, 28 and 29th at the Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center better known as the Ochs 4-H Garden located at 14644 113th Ave. N. Largo. The parking lot is located off of 146th Street (Hamlin).

What better way to start your holiday shopping than to order plain pecans for holiday recipes and beautiful bags of covered pecans for gifts?
For more information on the apples and pecans, and to order, click here.

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