You know California Dried Plums are delicious and nutritious, but here are some fun facts you might not know:
Mighty California Dried Plums
California is the world’s largest producer of dried plums, supplying approximately 40 percent of the world’s supply and 99 percent of the U.S. supply.
There’s Gold in Them Thar Orchards!
The California Dried Plum took root during the Gold Rush, when brothers Louis and Pierre Pellier brought the Petite d’Agen plum from France and grafted it onto wild American rootstock. Thanks to its high sugar content, the Petite d’Agen ripens fully on the tree without fermenting around the pit.
When a labor shortage hit California in 1905, a farmer turned to 500 monkeys to harvest the prune plums. Organized into gangs of 50 with a human foreman, the monkeys picked the prune plums well but ate them all up! Today, machines do the work—without eating the fruit.
A Whole Lot of Dried Plums
A prune plum tree produces up to 300 pounds of fruit. Fans of the fruit should appreciate each little one, as it takes three pounds of the fresh fruit to make one pound dried!
Say 'Prunes', Not 'Cheese'
"Say cheese.” It’s an expression that has become so much a part of our culture that everyone understands it to simply mean, “Smile,” rather than a command to actually utter the word “cheese.”
Can You Hear Me Now?
Modern technology has come a long way, especially in the prune-plums industry. With a wide variety of smartphones and apps available, it's a no-brainer that many growers rely on technology to efficiently manage their crops. Growers use smartphone apps not only to check wind speed and air temperatures, but also when to irrigate .