Farmers agree this is a spectacular season for stone fruit. The recent warm weather combined with many cold nights earlier in the year has resulted in fruit that is sweeter than it was at this time last year. Different varieties of peaches and nectarines are popping up at all of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets so taste everything to find your favorites.
Troy Regier of Regier Farms in Dinuba has his early varieties of peaches and nectarines at the Wednesday Market. Over the next week or so, Regier will have Springcrest yellow peaches, Sunlit Snow white peaches and Sugartime, a low acid yellow peach. Low acid peaches are very sweet and less tart than higher acid varieties. In the upcoming weeks, he will also have June Lady and Snow Bright peaches. Reiger usually has new varieties every two or three weeks because he only picks what is ripe. He picks fruit the day before coming to market and never keeps fruit in cold storage.
Fitz Kelly of Fitzgerald’s in Reedley always has fascinating varieties of stone fruit. He started farming in 1972 and is the first in his family to farm. At his stand this Wednesday you will find a wide variety of high and low acid white peaches and nectarines. Maycrest and Brittney Lane are both high acid yellow peaches, and Rose Diamond is a high acid yellow nectarine. Sugar Lips is a sweet, low acid yellow peach. Spring Snow and Virgin Blush are white peaches. Kelly will also have a small and intensely flavored white nectarine. Varieties and flavors change every week at Kelly’s stand. He loves customer feedback, and always likes to hear about his customers’ experiences with his fruit and what they like and don’t like.
Balderama Farm, at the Wednesday Downtown and Saturday Pico Market, have Mayfair yellow nectarines, a fifty-year-old variety that Jack Balderama says is the best nectarine there is. They also have Zee Grand and Mayglow yellow nectarines. Scott Farms at the Wednesday Market have Spring Snow, a sweet white peach, Queen Crest, a tart yellow peach, and Rose Diamond, a sweet yellow nectarine. Burkart Farm at the Wednesday Market expects a fabulous season for stone fruit and is off to a great start. Expect delicious white and yellow peaches and nectarines all season long. Honey Crisp at the Wednesday Market always has exciting varieties of stone fruit, as does John Hurley at both Saturday Markets and the Sunday Market. Also be sure to visit Pritchett Farm at the Wednesday Market and Ken Lee at the Pico Market for wonderful peaches and nectarines. Elmer Lehman has Queen Crest and Davidson yellow peaches this week, and has been at the Wednesday Market since the day it opened.