Summer brings with it the stone fruit harvest

FRESNO, Calif.

Workers moved quickly to fill their buckets full of rapidly ripening apricots. Picking season is here. Simonian Farms grows 181 varieties of fruits and vegetables over 80 acres. The crops are sold at their store at Clovis and Jensen, where shoppers sort through the freshly picked produce.

Dennis Simonian knows his customers get anxious when the weather starts to heat up. "The people are coming, they're excited. They've been calling us. Everytime they saw the sun in March or April they want to know if the peaches are ready."

Now Simonian can tell everyone the peaches are ready. But so are so many other crops like nectarines. The strawberries have been going for some time now. "Boysenberries, blackberries are gonna be coming on. Blueberries, tomatoes, corn."

Simonian Farms has grown immensely since Dennis' dad asked him if he wanted to take over this fruit stand in 1959. "When I became 16 he asked me if I wanted to rent it and that's how I started."

He never envisioned it'd grow into such a large market. So while the rest of us complain about near triple digit heat, farmers like Dennis Simonian welcome the warm-up. They need the sun to grow sweeter fruit. "We definitely need the heat. That's great. The heat brings them on."

You may prefer your fruit and fresh vegetables to be chilled but they can't ripen without the intense heat.

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