My daughter and I recently took a road trip to Fresno, California to visit some of the farms on the Fruit Trail. Although the drought has taken a toll on the farms here, there is still an extraordinary variety of produce for the taking.
Fresno is in the San Joaquin Valley – Central California – the heart of the nations agriculture. The majority of our produce is grown in this region and driving through the rural areas and back roads, windows down, music blaring, was fantastic. With the help of a map we took a self guided tour through the towns of Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, and Visalia, to name a few, stopping where we may… and when we were hungry.
I honestly couldn’t tell you which stand was a favorite because they all had their own charming appeal. Big or small, touristy or off the grid, we meet some amazing people and purchased some stunningly fresh produce, much of which didn’t make it home.
Simian Fruit Company in Fowler, had a huge selection of stone fruit and grapes but my favorite thing about them were the dozen or so varieties of raisins they offered (and other dried fruit). I’ve never seen anything like it! We picked up a nice variety of goodies from here, including a few things from other farmers that they provide. Also, make sure to check out the slab from a giant Sequoia tree by the entrance with a timeline on it.
We stumbled upon some great old buildings on our travels in the area, as well.
This honey is fantastic and locally produced. A great find in Three Rivers at a little family owned, healthy mini market called Sequoia Snack Shack. I would definitely suggest a stop there if you are heading into the Sequoia National Park.
One of our last stops before heading back down the highway to Los Angeles, was Berry Lady Farms. Gayle runs the small Kingsburg farm with her husband, where they grow blueberries, blackberries and Ruby Boysens. Gayle was kind enough to give us a tour of their packaging facility, during production.
Still plenty of blueberries left to be picked when we were there.
The height of the Fresno Fruit Trail runs between May and September, so there’s still plenty of time to head out on the trail still this summer. Many farms offer produce year round though, or have winter months for citrus. To visit during the month of your favorite produce, visit the Go Fruit Trail website for a list of over 30 farms and when they are open.
And by the way, I hear the Fruit Trail is gorgeous in the spring, too, while everything is blooming. During the first few weeks of March typically, this same area is called the Blossom Trails and apparently a site to behold! It’s on my bucket list for next spring.