It’s so sweet finding cherries at Concord's farmers market

It’s so sweet finding cherries at Concord’s farmers market

It’s so sweet finding cherries at Concord's farmers market
Alpine Blue Farms out of Stockton brought baskets of cherries and blueberries at this week’s Concord Farmers Market. (Pete Cruz photo)

CONCORD, CA (May 14, 2024) — We’re jumping for joy because farmers are telling us that California’s sweet cherries are arriving right on schedule.

Last year, they had to harvest two to three weeks late because of the heavy rain and wind. The bad weather came – and continued – when the cherry blossoms were just setting their fruit and they were unceremoniously knocked off the trees. The yield was less, and the season was shorter than usual.

This year, farmers are looking forward to sweeter cherries and an abundance of fruit through the harvesting season, about two to three months. This winter brought the perfect number of chill hours between 32 and 45 degrees, which trees need for flowering and fruit production. There’s been plenty of rain and sun mix, dry days interspersed with wet, to allow the trees to produce loads of fruit.

Good crop

Missy Gotelli of Gotelli Farms says the trees looked heavy with blossoms and fruit. “Can’t wait for cherry season,” she exclaimed. “It’s like our annual reunion at the farmers markets – catching up with familiar faces, sharing stories and, of course, seeing everyone’s face light up when they see Gotelli Farms cherries.”

J&J Ramos Farms showed off their cherry harvest. (Pete Cruz photo)

Guy Allard of Allard Farms is also optimistic, saying: “The crop looks good, decent yield and larger fruit.”

He says ground water is better, giving tree roots a chance to grow deeper. His farm in Westley in the Central Valley is about 100 acres. Since 1909, they’ve been farming a variety of fruit and nut crops. His Champagne, Brooks and Coral varieties should arrive at the markets first.

Harvesting a strong crop of cherries depends on many factors, from good soil and attentive care to rain and sunshine. This year looks to be a great, thanks to Mother Nature’s cooperation.

Cherry farmers are ready for another season with the best fruit they can grow. Stop by your farmers market this May and June and enjoy some of California’s finest sweet cherries.

You’ll find cherries at the Concord Farmers Market from Diaz Farm in Hollister, Alpine Blue and Gotelli Farms, both from Stockton and J&J Ramos Farms out of Hughson.

Cherry-Arugula Salad

  • ½ c. walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 lb. fresh cherries, pitted
  • ½ lb. baby or wild arugula
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar

Flaky coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast nuts in a dry pan for 5 minutes. Cut cherries in half lengthwise and place them in a large serving bowl. Add arugula, feta and nuts. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Add a few generous pinches of salt and season with pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

The Concord Farmers Market takes place in Todos Santos Plaza every Tuesday from 10 AM to 2 PM. Summer hours include a Thursday afternoon market starting June 6, 2024. For more information visit pcfma.org

[USM_plus_form]