I realized yesterday that I should share all the fun we had on the Fresno Fruit Trail (see the official site here) this weekend so that those of you in California would have a chance to see and, more importantly, taste all the delicious fruit before our favorite spots close for the season. As I mentioned, get ready for an abundance of dishes with berries, cherries, and peaches. My kitchen is overflowing with fresh fruit at the moment and I can’t wait to experiment with delicious and healthy (mostly) recipes to share.
We’ve been stopping on the Fresno Fruit Trail for the last three or four years with my parents who did it for a few years before we started tagging along. The self-guided, driving tour is a collection of 30+ farms, markets, town centers, and stores featuring produce from Fresno County. We have a few favorite stops since we’re most interested in blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and stone fruits. You can also get strawberries, nuts, olive oils, raisins, and citrus at other stops. You can drive the trail year round, but the season for berries and stone fruit is May and early June (exact dates depend on weather).
Where to Stop on the Fresno Fruit Trail
The first year we went to Berry Lady Farms, I discovered my guy’s somewhat insatiable love for blackberries. Since then we’ve managed to do the fruit trail a week too early for him to get sweet, juicy, plump blackberries. He is sure there is a conspiracy against him if it happened again this year. Since their stand is closed on Sundays, we stopped by on Saturday. Lo and behold not only did she have blackberries, but they were half price! I talk my guy out of buying two flats (16 clamshells) to just one flat with the promise that I wouldn’t eat too many of his precious morsels!
The “Berry Lady” and I share a love of blueberries. Not only are they tasty, but they’re good for you head-to-toe. They’re high in antioxidants, good for eyesight, an anti-inflammatory, and they’re high in fiber. A few notes for freezing berries. Don’t wash them before freezing because it removes their outer protective layer and they can stick together. Freeze boysenberries and blackberries in their clamshells. Then transfer them to a bag for longer term freezing! These are such important tips when you’re buying berries in bulk.
Stone Fruit on the Fresno Fruit Trail
On Sunday we made two stops. One at Friesen Family Farms for stone fruits. Her season came early again this year despite all the rain we’ve had, so she had only had two kinds of peaches, a handful of nectarines, and Coral Cot Apricots which are tarter in flavor. After tasting everything (the best part right?), we packed our brown bags ($4 each) with a variety of stone fruits!
Cherries on the Fresno Fruit Trail
We try to get cherries on our fruit run, but we don’t always hit the weekends right. This last weekend was really the end of red cherries and the peak of Queen Anne cherries (the golden ones). Our second stop was at Allen & Laurel Jackson’s you-pick orchard (which we discovered at the Kingsburg Swedish Festival on Saturday) and so we picked our own cherries for the first time. There are still plenty of red cherries, but we had to do a bit of searching. The Queen Anne cherries (see photo below) were so abundant. We really didn’t have to move from the first tree to fill our buckets (and our tummies)!
We had a great time, as usual, on the Fresno Fruit Trail. I love this yearly tradition of ours. It was even better this year with an overnight stay to make it a full weekend!