Understanding Harvest Windows
Yuzu during harvest
Yuzu during harvest
FruitStand is a platform connecting farmers directly to customers interested in their products.
Everything available on FruitStand is shipped to you directly from the farm it has been grown at. Because of this short and direct supply chain (farmer directly to customer), farmers that sell on FruitStand are able to harvest their crops at the ideal moment for plant health and optimal flavor--resulting in the best quality product possible.
At FruitStand, we refer to harvest windows in our communication with customers in order to reflect each unique product’s availability and seasonality. On the farm, “the harvest” can refer to the entire window of time when a crop may be harvested, as well as the specific moment(s) of actual picking. At FruitStand, we use the term “harvest” in the former sense- the window of time in which each product is being picked, prepared for shipment, and ultimately shipped to you.
Because FruitStand’s harvests are an extension of the farm’s harvest, each one only lasts for a defined amount of time--the most optimal time period for the picking and shipping for each unique product. Depending on the crop, this could be a one week window of time, a period of several weeks or even many months. Our farmers only fulfill orders during the prime season for each crop. To determine the expected harvest window ahead of time, we work closely with farmers prior to the launch of a product and rely on their expertise for crop forecasting. Crop forecasting, however, is not a perfect science and sometimes as we get closer to the forecasted harvest window, changes to timing or availability can occur. Due to many variables, ripening can take longer than expected, more or less fruit than anticipated can become available, etc. At times, natural disaster or severe weather can result in significant crop loss or damage. When there is a change to the information you were given at the time of your purchase, our customer service team goes above and beyond to ensure that all new information is communicated as quickly as possible to customers and that both our farmers and customers are treated fairly during this process.
While most people are familiar with the broad seasonality of common crops (apples in the fall, watermelons in the summer), at FruitStand we work with small scale farmers who grow small volumes of crops and crop varieties specific to their unique micro-climates. While there is inherent limited availability in this model, doing so allows us to ensure that we offer products that are unique in how well they have been optimized for flavor and quality.
We want to note that there are crops that require, or benefit from, longer periods of time between the actual picking and when they are shipped. Some of these products are crops like dates that complete a drying process, garlic that is often best once cured, or certain fruits that achieve higher quality standards when they complete their ripening process off of the plant. For crops like these, the window of time after picking (post-harvest) is a critical part of that product’s development. As a result, products like these may be shipped to customers at a time further removed from when they were actually “picked” on the farm, and FruitStand’s harvest window accounts for this timing. Again, this is specifically for crops that require this level of post-harvest attention to complete their final stages of development, not for crops that have been stored or left to ripen outside of their peak flavor development. FruitStand always ensures that we work with growers who are experts at growing, harvesting and handling their products in order to prioritize the quality and flavor of everything they produce.
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