FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Valley favorite is now in season though the recent rain delayed the opening of many strawberry stands. The return of the sun means the sweet berries are rapidly developing.
Pretty flowers accent blossoms and bright red strawberries at a Clovis produce stand. Heulong Siong says the recent rain and cooler weather caused a two-week delay in this year's crop, but his strawberries are now ripe for the picking.
"Yeah, we got a lot of customers waiting, and they're really happy," farmer Seulong Siong said.
Strawberries help turn the Fresno County Blossom Trail into the fruit trail. Siong runs one of the county's 15 strawberry stands, and 80 percent of the strawberries consumed in the U.S are grown in California.
Watsonville produces the largest crop but many customers prefer Valley-grown berries.
"It's just our strawberries, we think are the best in the world," said Kristi Johnson with the Office of Tourism. "So, getting them directly from the grower and fresh from being picked and harvested. There's just a much different flavor from any other strawberries from anywhere else in the state."
The fruit trail map helps people find everything from strawberries to peaches, and even firefighters know where to find the sweetest fruit.
"We're so lucky here to live right in the heart of agriculture and so you can go and get your stuff freshly picked," Johnson said.
Siong also grows various vegetables and puts in crops such as onions at the end of many rows due to the spring rains.
"They have the water, and I try to plant," Siong said.
And sometimes you get lucky and get, not a double, but a triple strawberry which looks like big lollipop. The rains caused many local growers to pick away water-damaged strawberries, but the rest of the stands are expected to open soon as our temperatures warm.