The spring blossom trail becomes the fruit trail in the summer. There are miles of orchards and many roadside stands where you can find more varieties of fruit than you can imagine. www.gofruittrail.com
Most people are surprised that blueberries grow in California, especially in the hot Central Valley. Varieties have been developed that thrive in the valley temperatures. The season runs from mid-May to early July so you need to get them while you can.
Right around the corner from my home outside of Kingsburg is the Berry Lady Farm Store owned by Paul and Gayle Willems.
The store is set in the midst of their 100 acres of berries which include blackberries, boysenberries, and, of course, blueberries. You can take a walk and see the berries growing. Depending on the time of day, you’ll see the berries being harvested, sorted, and then packed.
The Willems grow 12 varieties of blueberries which ripen at various times during the season. Our favorite are “Larry’s Berries” named for Gayle’s father. These berries are BIG!
Gayle Willems has a teacher’s heart and she shares her extensive knowledge with her customers. The store is decorated with vintage furniture. She has books, signs, and all sorts of memorabilia which take you back to an earlier time. In addition to berries, you can purchase jams and jellies made from the fruit. Gayle shares recipes as well as history and has a wonderful website where you can learn about their family operation. http://www.berryladyfarms.com/
The Berry Lady Farm Store is located at 39771 Road 28 Kingsburg, CA 93631. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 during berry season. The berries are also sold at the Kaiser Permanente – Fresno Medical Center Farmers’ Market on wednesdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm. (559) 897-0963 or visit the website for more details.
Another great source for Central Valley blueberries is Triple Delight Blueberries. Owned and operated by the Sorenson family of Caruthers, the business was named for their three beautiful daughters.
Triple Delight Blueberries are sold at many Farmers’ Markets including the market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco but you’d better hurry because the season is ending soon. You can visit the Triple Delight website for information and farmer’s market locations. http://www.tripledelightberries.com/