Fruit is hand-picked into individual (half-bushel) containers and never dumped into (or out of) large bins. This allows us to safely pack a much riper and higher quality piece of fruit than large packing sheds. The maturity at which stone fruit is picked determines its ultimate quality. "Pre-conditioning" will soften a piece of fruit, but will not increase the sugar content. All our fruit is harvested at 8 lbs flesh firmness or less. Our reputation has been built on this fact: our "tree-ripe" is not just another marketing slogan, there is a distinct difference !