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Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 1:38 p.m.

Save the apple trees

  • Northwest Ag Business Center

Bodacious Blueberry. Big Bad Blackberry. Sassy Strawberry. Ramblin’ Raspberry.

If you thought joining the eat-local movement was going to be all about kale and cucumbers, think again.

Thanks to four new sparking juices from the new Skagit Fresh Natural Beverage Company, you might be able to save local apple trees by drinking sweet juice all year long.

In an effort to keep apple farming alive in the Skagit River Valley, three farmers — Alan Merritt of Merritt Apples, Richard Sakuma of Sakuma Brothers Farms, and Jim Perkins of Perkins Variety Apples — have banded together to create four fizzy drinks made from Skagit Valley Jonagold apple juice and berry juice from throughout the Northwest.

The Northwest Ag Business Center of Mount Vernon shared the five-years-coming success story of the local product and offered tastings in one of the break-out sessions at the Focus on Farming conference.

They all tasted delicious to me. They were bright and packed with berry flavor. They were not sickly sweet like soda pop, but instead tasted like fresh berries, especially the Sassy Strawberry. I recommend you impress your guests by serving the sparkling juice in champagne flutes for your next holiday gathering.

Each 12-ounce bottle contains 110 calories — 60 percent real juice and 40 percent purified water — with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Look for the drinks in the coming weeks at Haggen Food & Pharmacy, Top Food & Drug, Metropolitan Markets, Whole Foods Markets and other locations throughout Western Washington. Suggested retail prices are $1.79 per bottle or $6.49 for a four-pack.

Have you tried the juices yet? What do you think? Comment below if you like!


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