Stone fruit harvest underway in the Valley

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The harvest of peaches, plums and nectarines is in full swing.

The harvest of peaches, plums and nectarines is in full swing.

Once these nectarines ripen, it's time to rapidly get them picked and packed for distribution.

In just a few days these sweet fruits will be available in stores across the U.S. and Canada.

Jon McClarty of HMC Farms says crews have been harvesting since April. "This has been a real early year. The earliest that we've ever seen. It hasn't really slowed down. It started out of the gates as a sprint and it keeps coming."

Back in May the size of the nectarines was not as big. "The fruit was a little bit smaller in the beginning. Early fruit's always small," said McClarty.

But the crop has now filled out nicely. Besides, size and a bright red color aren't the only indicators to finding the sweetest nectarines. Jon says to make sure there is no green in the fruit's background color. "You want it to be more of a dull yellow. That's kind of the tell whether it's riper than the other ones around it."

The harvest always brings relief especially with the drought such a big concern. "So far the wells have been deep enough. It's something we're every nervous about," said McClarty.

Local stone fruit should be available through September.
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