Frequently Asked Questions
How often does Tree Things come each summer?
We come 5 times a summer, every 3 weeks. We come on the same day to the same town (Eagle River, Glennallen and Kenny Lake on Monday; Palmer and Anchorage on Tuesdays; Cordova, Soldotna and Seward on Wednesdays; and Homer on Thursdays). Our first trip is in the beginning of June and the last one is about the end of August or early September.
Do you sell your fruit to other states?
No, we only sell fruit in Alaska. We have a 4 day route of approximately 1000 miles in Alaska in 8 different towns plus we send fruit by air to Cordova.
How do I place a fruit order?
The best way is to order online (www.treethings.net). That way your order goes directly into the system the way you order it. You may also send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (559-638-5298). Or you may send us a letter (1477 N. Birch, Reedley CA 93654). Please allow 10 days for the post office to deliver it.
How soon ahead may I order?
We have to give our orders to the farmers more than a week ahead. We like you to give us your order by Monday of the week before you pick up your fruit. We will try very hard to get you the fruit you want if you order by that Monday.
How do I know if my order was received?
The best way to order is online because it goes directly into the system and counts the orders. If you order online, you will receive an automated reply saying "thank you for your order." In addition to an auto response, you will receive a personalized reply to your order and/or payment.
How do I pay for my fruit?
You may pay online with your credit card when you place an order. You may also pay with cash or check at time of pickup.
What happens if I forget my order?
We are in a each town for a certain number of hours. When the time is up (for example, at 6:30 pm in Anchorage), we sell the forgotten fruit to anyone who is waiting. That means it is possible that your fruit is no longer available even if you would drive to the next town. If you have a question about your order after the truck is gone from your town, call or email and we will do our best to help you.
What happens if I paid for my fruit and forget to get it? Will I lose my payment?
Your money is always safe! We will bring your fruit next time or give you credit for another trip or refund your money cheerfully.
What if I forget to order?
Just come on down to the parking lot and see what we have. Sometimes we have extra fruit right away. Other times you might need to wait until "closing time" so that we know how much fruit was not picked up and then available to be sold.
Is the fruit organic?
The simple answer to that is no, our fruit is not organic. However, the state of CA has strict regulations concerning chemicals and our farmers are always working to grow good tasting and healthy fruit. One of our farmers had this answer to the organic question-- "Both conventional and organic fruit are safe and ready to eat. Both may have trace amounts of chemical residue (e.g. from wind, rain). However, in both, residue, if any, is well below that allowed by the USDA. The primary difference between conventional and organic farming is the source of the materials used to protect and build the trees, fruit and, soil. Orchards farmed organically can only use materials with a 100% "natural" base (e.g. sulfur, ammonia). While orchards farmed conventionally use many of these same materials, these materials may be combined in a non-organic manner (e.g. sulfur dioxide, ammonium nitrate). In some cases, the only difference between organic and non-organic cultural practices may be the use of herbicides to control weeds and conserve water. Manual control of weeds is very difficult and challenging for farm workers. Use of an herbicide is much safer for farm workers and is not applied to the fruit. But, it does eliminate an orchard from organic qualification. "
Here is another farmer's perspective-- "Organic growers have a list of approved materials that they can use...those materials are basically not synthetic but more natural products. It is my option that people are generally wasting their money buying organic because of the way commercial growers are growing their fruit now. The materials we are registered to use are not harsh but soft chemicals. Non toxic and in many cases we use natural products also...example...we use pheromones now to disrupt the mating cycles of many pests instead of chemicals. More expensive but totally natural."
Our berry farmer says "We are not organic, but we do not use pesticides on our berries. Blueberries especially do not have diseases that require the use of pesticides. We do have to use weed control products during the off season, but never during the time the berries are on the plants. Even our water is tested and is clean well water. We are required by the commercial companies that purchase our berries to comply with strict food safety regulations."
How do I keep my fruit from molding?
Storing fruit properly usually prevents mold from occurring but occasionally there is a problem. We suggest cutting off that small section and the rest is fine to use. One customer wrote to say that she does the following: ..." I have been doing this for years. When I get home from the store I fill the sinks with warm water and vinegar and toss ALL the veggies and fruit in together. I let them sit for 15 minutes and then lay out on towels and dry. This kills all the e coli, salmonella, bacteria and feces from hands etc.,. It does not even affect the taste etc. It is one of the best safety practices you can do. The only fruit I don't throw in is bananas; but I throw in cantaloupe, watermelon, literally everything you can think of. I just never thought of doing this with berries as they are so fragile - but trust me after having strawberries at $5. per container during the good season go bad, it is worth trying. And once again, the proportion of vinegar is so minor (and I usually triple it) you cannot taste anything."
What if my fruit is not ripe enough?
Everyone has their own personal level of what ripeness they like. Ripe to me might not be ripe enough for you. Some fruits like cherries, berries, grapes have to be refrigerated no matter their state of ripeness. Other fruits like peaches or nectarines or plums can be left on the counter a day or two or three. Please check these regularly and often. Cut into one and see how you like it. We suggest putting a layer of (peaches) on a paper towel in a zip lock bag and storing in fridge. Take one out daily and see if you like its ripeness that day. You may be surprised. What if my fruit is too ripe? if you store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag with a paper towel, it will slow down the ripening process. If it truly is too ripe, quick! cut it up and store in ziplock bag in the freezer to make jam, cobbler, pie, smoothie, etc. Or use fresh in the same recipes.
What if I am unhappy? do you have a guarantee?
Fruit is fragile. It cannot last forever. It is not perfect so it does need attention. But if you are unhappy and the fruit did not meet your expectations, please let us know. We will gladly give you a replacement or a refund to your satisfaction.