Madera Pomegranate, Fruit and Nut Festival happening this weekend

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- For Home Grown Cellars owner Alexander Lehman, this year's harvest is one for the history books.

Owner Alexander Lehman says, "There was frost, there was smoke, there was heat and a lot of it. There was dryness -- lack of water."

Lehman grows 300 acres of pomegranates. While this year was challenging when it comes to mother nature, the potential for added water restrictions has him opting to take out his almond trees and expand the pomegranate operation because they take less water.

This year's crop is like no other.

Lehman says, "What we found was there was smaller fruit and the fruit had smaller arils. "

Which meant they had to use more fruit to process the same amount of juice.

"We did take a hit. There was a lot of conversation with the buyers and stores saying, 'Hey you're not going to get big fruit this year. You're getting smaller fruit.'"

The smaller fruit doesn't impact quality.

Lehman says, "The juice is coming out really well. Nice color, nice aroma. It's about 18 bricks on the sugar scale that's used in the food industry. "

The slushies are a fan favorite at the Madera Pomegranate Fruit and Nut Festival.

Canceled last year because of the pandemic, this year is set to feature more than 100 vendors.

Co-owner of Home Grown Cellars, Jackie Lehman says, "We have people from all over the state that come. There are people who are our customers that call and want to know exactly when it is."

Home Grown Cellars is adding pomegranate honey to their collection of products including juice, syrup and jam.

She says, "It's satisfying to know people are enjoying our product and coming out for the pomegranate. "

The Pomegranate, Fruit and Nut Festival is this Saturday at the Madera Fairgrounds.

Admission and parking are free.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.