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Apple lovers to the core

JACKSONVILLE — Nancy Shaw stops by Fox Run Farm every week for berries, melons, bread and other fresh local products.

I'm a cancer survivor so I have to eat well,?? the Medford resident said.

Customers like Shaw find fresh produce seven days a week at Fox Run Farm, a fruit stand and apple orchard on Jacksonville Highway.

— — — Name:

Fox Run Farm.

— Service:

Fruit — stand.

— Address:

3842 — Jacksonville Highway.

— Telephone:

— 608-7886.

— Hours:

10 a.m. to 6 — p.m. Monday through Sunday.

— Owners:

Duane and — Laura Goodman. — — Owners Duane and Laura Goodman grow 62 varieties of apples, three types of grapes, walnuts, almonds and Asian pears. But they also buy berries, cherries, melons, onions, garlic, apricots, peaches and other produce from farmers in the Applegate, Central Point, Phoenix and elsewhere in the Rogue Valley.

Fox Run Farm also sells local eggs from free-roaming chickens, honey, Pyramid juices from Ashland, jams and bread from Pennington Farms in Applegate, gourds for musical instruments or birdhouses and peacock feathers for crafts or hats.

We go to local farms, find what's in season and bring it here to sell it,?? said Duane Goodman. We like to support local growers — we strongly believe in that.??

Fox Run Farm is a second career for the Goodmans. Laura Goodman ran a secretarial business for 25 years, starting in the days of non-correcting typewriters and advancing into the computer age. Duane Goodman, a 1953 graduate of then-Medford High School, worked in the chancellor's office at the University of California at Davis and later was administrator of a school that trained travel agents. The couple also owned a nautical gift shop in Old Town Sacramento.

But four years ago, they bought a neglected apple orchard near Jacksonville and opened a fruit stand in 1997, selling strawberries from their own patch and vegetables from their own garden. Meanwhile, neighbor Kenny Kamberg spent a year teaching them how to prune and thin the apple trees. Today, the Goodmans tend 215 trees with 62 varieties, harvesting about 20 types, many hard-to-find and old-fashioned.

We wanted to re-establish the antique apples and not just have the popular varieties you see in the grocery stores,?? said Duane Goodman.

The Goodmans will pick the first apples of the season within the next two or three weeks, a yellow transparent variety that has a translucent skin and quick-cooking texture, perfect for sauces, Laura Goodman said.

When I make my own applesauce, I use four or five varieties, some sweet varieties and one that's tart, and then no sugar is required, just spice,?? she said. We've had diabetics try it this way.??

A favorite of the old-timers, the yellow transparent has a short shelf life, so grocery stores can't stock it. Duane Goodman said: It's difficult to pick and to store. You just look at it and it bruises. One day it's green on the tree, the next it's yellow and on the ground.??

Later this summer, Fox Run Farm will feature the green 20-ounce apple and the winesap, popular for pies and juice, the yellow and golden delicious, four red delicious varieties, Imperial York and Newtown Pippin, which was George Washington's favorite. The biggest seller at Fox Farm is the Fuji and also popular are apples with distinctive flavors such as winter banana, cinnamon spice and New Jersey 46.

Kids love the New Jersey 46 — it tastes like a cherry LifeSaver,?? Duane Goodman said.

The secret recipe in the sweet varieties is water core,?? pockets of pure sugar inside the apple.

Our apples are not waxed and polished like you see in the grocery store,?? Laura Goodman said. They are right off the tree and might have imperfections in their appearance. But apples have a natural bloom and if you rub them, they will shine.??

The Goodmans put in long days in their new career as farmers. They drive to Applegate to pick up fruit and bread, or to Phoenix or Central Point to pick blueberries (which will be available this week), peaches (watch for them in late July), corn or other produce. They put up the canopy at their fruit stand every morning and take it down at night. And they spend hours tending the orchard.

People don't understand what it takes to get the apples to the fruit stand,?? Duane Goodman said. There's a lot of yearlong work that takes place, pruning, thinning, picking and cleaning up the orchard floor so it's not hazardous when you maneuver through it with ladders.??

Laura and Duane Goodman took up second careers when they bought an old apple orchard outside Jacksonville and turned it into Fox Run Farm. Today their orchard produces some of the unusual and antique apple varieties they sell at their fruit stand on Jacksonville Highway. - Jim Craven