Great Food Search: Fruit Trail Finds

Jun 29, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

by Terrance Mc Arthur

It’s Summer! The Fresno County Blossom Trail has lost its bloom, but the Fresno County Fruit Trail is fruiting like crazy! The Great Food Search has gone out, from Fresno to between Reedley and Orange Cove, to pick buy the ripest fruits and veggies of the season!

180 Fruit Stand

180 Fruit Stand, Fresno-Cherries, strawberries, and nectarines packed ready to go. Pretty!

180 Fruit Stand—8191 E. Kings Canyon Rd., Fresno—Just east of DeWolf Avenue, where the 180 Freeway becomes Highway 180, the 180 Fruit Stand offers the prettiest produce you’ve ever seen—artful bowls filled with fresh fruit, colorful displays, and Japanese nectarines in lacy collars of styrofoam. These nectarines have a delicate blush to them, along with a major league juiciness and a powerhouse taste. The strawberries are excellent, and the cherries . . . BIG! BIG! BIG!

Saechao Strawberries, Selma

Saechao Strawberry Farm—8938 S. McCall Ave., Selma—At the intersection of Manning and McCall, a simple setup houses a great collection of fruits, veggies, and preserves. Strawberries are in their name, and for good reason; they are high quality. The cherries are flavor packed, and the squashes are solid. I’ve made many trips from Sanger to Selma as an excuse to stop by the Saechao stand.

Sunflower Farm Stand, Sanger-great food, and you can get lost in the Sunflower Maze

Sunflower Farm Stand—18266 E. Kings Canyon Rd., Sanger—Where Reed Avenue meets Highway 180, by the bustling town of Minkler, there’s an explosion of sunflowers, some grown from seeds and some built of wood and paint. The Sunflower Farm Stand features an outdoor sunflower maze—it’s free, but donations are accepted. There is also a butterfly pavilion, where cocoons are kept on a rotating basis to release butterflies every few weeks. Sunflowers and other flowers have a pick and buy section. Fruits and vegetables are displayed outside an adorable “tiny house” that holds the office, along with walls of berries, preserves, and dried fruits and nuts. There are even pens of farm animals to see.

Sweet Girl Farms, Reedley-Worth the travel, and where else can you find Avocado Blossom Honey?

Sweet Girl Farms—8358 S. Alta Ave., Reedley—East of Reedley, and north of the twin Sinclair dinosaurs, there is a shady spot where you can buy things you want and things you never thought of wanting: Sweet Girl Farms. The variety of produce and fruit is astounding. Tomatoes, onions, big tomatoes, pluots! I mean, where else would you find avocado honey? (I can imagine a bee saying, “Hey, Beatrice! Does this blossom taste like . . . guacamole?) I purchased an itty-bitty jar and a tiny honey dripper for serving it. Now I need to go back to buy more to give as gifts!

The Verdict—The champion of the month is . . . I’d say you could go to any of these fruit/produce stands and be glad you went, but I’m supposed to choose only one. Okay, it’s . . . the Sunflower Farm Stand. The produce is fantastic, and the extra attractions of the maze and the butterflies make it a farmer’s Disneyland.

. . . And Opening After My Deadline . . . Hudson Farms, 4300 S. Academy, Sanger—South of Central Avenue on Academy in the Sanger area, Hudson Farms is more than a fruit and vegetable stand. It’s an agricultural education center with information on foods, recipes, and cool things to buy. Liz Hudson and family don’t open for the season until the food is ready for the buyers, sort of a variation on an old Paul Masson Wines slogan: “We will sell no tomato before its time.” Medical and family situations delayed the building’s opening this season, but Hudson’s finally opened Wednesday, June 26 (I hope). I hope Liz has some cranberry jalapeno jam for me!

Hudson Farms, Sanger-Waiting to open when the time is ripe

Happy eating!

Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section. And check out a KRL staff profile this week on Terrance!

Terrance V. Mc Arthur worked for the Fresno County Public Library for three decades. He is retired, but not retiring. A storyteller, puppeteer, writer, actor, magician, basketmaker, and all-around interesting person, his goal is to make life more unusual for everyone he meets.


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