Fresno County Fruit Trail offers the sweetest treats

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresh fruit is one of the Valley's sweetest treats. At Simonian Farms in Fresno County, employees have been busy picking baskets of strawberries.

"Harvest is underway," said Stacey Grote with Simonian Farms. "The fruit is being put out. People are coming in, the hustle and bustle of all the customers. This is what we work all year for."

Grote loves to see all the fresh produce coming into their store. Simonian Farms is one of the many businesses taking part in this year's Fresno County Fruit Trail.

"On our kickoff we're actually harvesting almost everything we grow," said Grote. "Normally on a normal year, it's just berry time, when we start the fruit trail. So it's perfect timing. It's early due to the early heat that we had."

The Fresno County Fruit Trail maps out more than three dozen stands and businesses where you can find fresh food. Agriculture commissioner Les Wright says the summer stands are important to businesses.

"To the smaller farmers, it's a major portion of their income," said Wright. "For the strawberry guys, it's all of their income. But to the other fruit stands that are out there, it's a great marketing tool, it tells the story of agriculture."

This season, growers like Circle K Ranch are hoping to attract Valley residents and tourists to their stands to learn and to buy.

"The drought is very tough, that's the main issue," said Andrew Kazarian with Circle K Ranch. "Also it went from pretty darn cold to pretty darn warm fast so that's affected some of the crops and sets."

Growers say despite the challenging conditions, they're continued to put out the best produce and products they can. They hope local residents will come out, see and experience the fruit trail first hand.
Simonian Farms tells us due to the weather impact, the cost of some fruit like cherries and apricots will likely be higher than average.

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