Catch Nick's Stone Fruit
2 min read
Stone fruit season kicks off with Nick’s outstanding White and Yellow Nectarines, Yellow Peaches, and Apricots.
Our team just visited Nick and got to see how his orchards are doing. A cooler spring paired with heavy rains and snow throughout the winter has meant his fruit was about 12 days late this year. The wet winter was well-timed for Nick, with the extra water helping with growth. Plus, since they have been on the tree longer, Nick is noticing deeply concentrated flavor and better sizing compared to years past.
The strange weather hasn’t finished yet — it’s still cooler than normal in the Central Valley, where Nick’s orchards are located. However, even with lower temperatures, he is seeing a big difference between the highest and lowest temperatures in one day - which is super important for developing flavor-packed stone fruit.
and his 74 varieties of stone fruit
In 2019 Nick took over Fitz Kelly's orchards in Reedley, CA. Drawing on five generations’ worth of Central Valley farming and the dogged determination of a young grower, Nick is honing in on good farming practices and varietal specification to phenomenal results. Like Kelly before him, Nick is protecting a vital part of both cultural and natural history: preserving heritage varieties forsaken by purely commercial growers in favor of extended shelf life and higher yields.
Nick's season is a carefully choreographed series of explosions. With each of his 74 varieties only ripe for ten days at the most, he passes over his trees multiple times a season, only ever picking fruit that has reached full maturity on the branch. Mainstream commercial channels would not accept fruit in this form - on top of all the extra work, its delicate, short shelf life makes it impossible for most retailers to handle.
Right now, try his Carmen Miranda Nectarines— around for just a week or two, they are syrupy and tend to have the most sugar spots. Spots are a sign of intense sugars that have burst through the skin. They used to be a marker of quality, but now are rarely seen and are viewed as a blemish to most.
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