On location: Fresno County
Mar./Apr. 2014 California Bountiful magazine
What makes it distinctive? Find out!
Fresno County offers the benefits of city life as well as abundant recreational opportunities in its mountains, foothills, lakes, rivers, forests and countryside. The county is also renowned as one of the nation's top agricultural regions, providing grapes, almonds, poultry, milk, tomatoes and more than 350 other crops.
Pat Ricchiuti, Clovis
Third-generation farmer Pat Ricchiuti of P-R Farms grows fruits and nuts and also operates his family's shipping and packing facility, powered in part by 7,700 solar panels. An early adopter of renewable energy, he believes in "supporting the youth of our country and promoting agriculture" so future generations can thrive.
Trelio Restaurant, Clovis
With a menu that changes daily, Trelio Restaurant in Old Town Clovis celebrates the locally grown bounty and cultural diversity that have made the area one of the world's greatest agricultural regions.
Valley Farm at Fresno Chaffee Zoo
An opportunity to pet farm animals is a highlight of Valley Farm, a new exhibit developed in conjunction with the Fresno County Farm Bureau. The attraction provides an up-close, hands-on view of what life is like on a farm.
Fresno State farmers market
Fresh produce, wine, olive oil and sausage are among the products to sample and purchase at Gibson Farm Market on the campus of California State University, Fresno. All items are grown, processed and packaged by students.
Fresno County blossom and fruit trails
Fresno County's fruit and nut trees put on an annual display of spring blossoms that perfume the countryside—and the Fresno County Blossom Trail provides a perfect way to enjoy the show. Take a drive or bike ride along the self-guided tour route, but hurry! Warmer-than-average temperatures this winter coaxed the blossoms out earlier than usual. Check the website for current conditions: www.goblossomtrail.com
Later this spring, the Fresno County Blossom Trail becomes the Fresno County Fruit Trail, with fresh fruit and other goodies available from local farms. Check here for opening dates and other details: www.gofresnocounty.com
Orchards at a glance
Here's what's happening in the county's fruit and nut orchards. Harvest dates are approximate, based on a typical year.
Almond blossoms have white petals. Two or more varieties may be planted in the same orchard for cross-pollination by bees. Harvesting, usually done mechanically, runs from late August to early October.
Plum blossoms are white. At least two varieties will be planted in an orchard for cross-pollination. More than 200 varieties are grown commercially. Harvested in mid- to late September.
Apricot blossoms have pink petals. Fewer than 12 varieties are grown commercially. Harvest season lasts two to three weeks during mid- to late May.
Peach and nectarine blossoms feature pink to red petals and bloom at the same time. More than 100 varieties are grown commercially. Harvest runs mid-May to October.
Apple blossoms have white petals. Up to six varieties are grown commercially in Fresno County. Harvest is August to November.
Citrus blossoms are white with an aromatic fragrance. Navel and Valencia oranges, along with lemons, are the most common citrus fruits grown locally.
Blossom descriptions courtesy of Fresno County Blossom Trail