San Bernardino County
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Posts Tagged: summer

UCCE San Bernardino County Brings Enrichment Activities to Hesperia USD Summer Meals

The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced free and reduced price lunches to children of low income families in need. The summer time can be difficult for those families as children are not provided a healthy meal when school is out. The summer meal program helps to alleviate the stress of feeding children during the summer break.

Hesperia Unified School District is one of many districts in San Bernardino county that provides meals during the summer. The district Food and Nutrition Services started the summer with an exciting kick off lunch at Topaz Elementary, one of the meal sites. Over 300 children were served a nutritious meal and were provided enrichment activities for the whole family to enjoy.

All four UCCE programs were represented at the kick off  providing information and activities for families. EFNEP distributed  recipe cards, cutting boards and calendars for parents and signed parents up for the UCCE Connects to You distance learning pilot program. Children were given gardening gloves from the Happy Healthy Me curriculum to start growing vegetables at home.  Master Gardeners had a small space herb garden and vermicomposting demonstration as well as promoted the MG hotline and volunteer program. 4-H brought a live rabbit for children to pet, the living desert sensory station and the signs of animals present in the forest. Master Food Preservers promoted their public classes and had a tropical freezer jam tasting, it was a hit! 


all programs
all programs

Sampling freezer jam from the Master Food Preservers
Sampling freezer jam from the Master Food Preservers

EFNEP Educator Marilynn Ljungberg
EFNEP Educator Marilynn Ljungberg

hesperia kick off
hesperia kick off

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2019 at 8:55 AM
Focus Area Tags: 4-H, Family, Food, Health

Summer Fruit

It is easy to take for granted the improvements to our current produce selections made possible by decades and centuries of careful observation by farmers, nurserymen, plant breeders and even plant hobbyists.

Saturday, on my way home after checking out the latest Nashville Hot Chicken pop-up by Barts' BBQ, I stopped @ Vallarta Markets, a regional ethnic grocery chain located primarily in the San Fernando Valley.

Rainier cherries @ $2.99/lb. A great price considering most retailers hold the line @ $5.99/lb, occasionally dipping to $4.99/lb. The market was 4 pounds lighter upon my departure.




 Plump, juicy, fresh, and larger than a quarter. The second picture has the quarter underneath the cherry.








I wanted to process some pitted with the stems in a brandy syrup and some in a lightly spiced syrup. I was thinking I would expedite the process by breaking out an antique cherry stoner although I already knew the answer. NO!

Cherries in the early 1900's were significantly smaller and the bulk of preserved cherries, canned and dried, were sour Early Richmond , English Morello, or Montmorency cherries. Once preferred for jams, jellies, preserves, pies, syrup, pastries and cakes, sour cherries are not the retail force today that they were in an earlier era.

When we think of cherries today, most people dream of Bing cherries or its offspring, big, dark burgundy red, and sweet.

BTW, the Bing cherry was named for Chinese national, Ah Bing, a decade's long employee who worked in the orchards of Oregon horticulturist SethLewelling.Ah Bing returned to Manchurian China in 1889 to visit family and due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was never allowed to return.


My Rainier cherries would not fit in a finger operated cherry stoner, patented in 1937 by J.C. Brown. They would not feed into a 1920's, No. 50 cherry stoner by the New Standard Corp. of MT. Joy, PA. However, I could hand position each cherry individually in the well below the plunger. Say “goodbye” to speed and efficiency.




I love the ingenuity of early mechanical marvels, designed without Cad-Cam computer programs, CNC machinery, or 3-D printing.

Each design had to be mocked up by pattern makers, a specialized form of woodworking, and made into casting patterns for the foundry to cast the item in molten iron. Patterns had to be made oversize (6-9%) to account for the percentage of shrink as the cast iron cooled.

My cherry canning project is on temporary hold due to the rapid disappearance of the fresh cherry stock from my refrigerator.

It occurred to me that this is the reason why I never have any preserved cherry items to enter into the county fair.

Handful here, bowlful there, then death by attrition.

It's the pits (pun intended).


--Darrell Fluman





Posted on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 12:22 PM
  • Author: Darrell Fluman
Tags: ah bing (1), bing (1), cherry (2), fruit (5), modern fruit (1), processing (2), summer (1)
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