The first offerings from J. Fitzgerald Kelly’s orchards in Reedley are now here. “Farmer Fitz” grows over a hundred varieties of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots on his 35 acres. Bearing such exotic names as Virgin Blush, Lady in Red, Sugar Lips, Carmen Miranda and Rings of Saturn, Fitzgerald’s peaches and nectarines have earned a reputation for high quality from Sonoma to Santa Monica.
Each stone fruit variety is generally available for only a week or two. Fitz allows the fruit to remain on the tree longer than the “factory farms” do, which means it has a shorter shelf life and must be handled with more care. That means it’s going to cost more. It also means that the fruit will be higher in sugar and flavor. Try some and see if you don’t agree. You’ll see the display right in front of you when you enter the store in Sonoma.