We ship 20 pounds of crisp juicy ripe apples tastefully enclosed in a pine box with licensed art giclee panels decorating the chest. I have tested some of the apples earlier in the season to see which ones had "legs", meaning will they travel well, and both the fuji's and red delicious held up well, with the fuji's the best. Since I hand select from the boxes, what goes in the gift chest, I am usually able to pick the best ones from those that might be past their prime. Now this is an art form, cause you can't squeeze too hard or you bruise the fruit but from my many trips accompanying big foreign buyers or their agents all over the fruit shed of eastern Washington, I have a pretty good feel for it. Back in those days, we would load refrigerated break bulk ships with apples, one sling at a time. the apples would go to pier 91, which was a refrigerated warehouse and the ship would come alongside the finger peir and be loaded by the longshoreman. it was my job to secure the trucks to bring the apples over the mountains from apple country, actually God's country in my opinion.
I was raised in East Wenatchee and spent many an early summer thinning apples for my neighbor, Bud Pflugrath, who owned a small 15 acre orchard. It seemed big enough to me and my brother and dad who thinned the whole orchard by ourselves. I remember one day it was practically setting record for the heat, 105 degrees in the shade, and believe me, a lot of the time we were not in the shade, but it was debilitating and we spent a lot of time under a tree glugging down water.