U-Pick Fruit, Local Gems and What’s Fresh Now!
We have so many things to do during spring and summer fruit season that we couldn’t fit it all on one page! Here you’ll find lists of seasonality for your favorite fruits and veggies, fun kids stops and activities for car breaks, farms to go fruit picking at, and some local off the beaten path stops from our staff.
What’s Fresh Now?
Check on the seasonality of your favorite fruits and veggies below!
|Month||Fruits & Veggies|
|January||Walnuts, Oranges, Avocados, Pomegranates, Lemons|
|February||Oranges, Avocados, Pomegranates, Lemons|
|March||Asparagus, Oranges, Avocados, Lemons|
|April||Strawberries, Asparagus, Oranges, Avocados, Lemons|
|May||Strawberries, Asparagus, Peas, Cherries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Apricots, Grapes, Oranges, Avocados, Pluots, Lemons|
|June||Peaches, Tomatoes, Olallieberries, Strawberries, Asparagus, Peas, Cherries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Apricots, Grapes, Plums, Green Beans, Nectarines, Corn, Oranges, Avocados, Melons, Pluots, Plumcots, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Lemons|
|July||Peaches, Tomatoes, Olallieberries, Strawberries, Peas, Blueberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Apricots, Grapes, Plums, Green Beans, Nectarines, Corn, Raspberries, Apples, Okra, Avocados, Melons, Pluots, Plumcots, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Lemons, Peppers|
|August||Pears, Tomatoes, Peaches, Peas, Grapes, Green Beans, Nectarines, Corn, Raspberries, Apples, Okra, Almonds, Avocados, Melons, Pluots, Plumcots, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Lemons, Peppers|
|September||Pears, Tomatoes, Peaches, Peas, Grapes, Green Beans, Nectarines, Corn, Raspberries, Apples, Okra, Almonds, Figs, Walnuts, Persimmons, Asian Pears, Avocados, Plumcots, Melons, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Lemons, Peppers|
|October||Apples, Almonds, Figs, Grapes, Walnuts, Persimmons, Asian Pears, Avocados, Pomegranates, Plumcots, Pumpkins, Cucumbers, Lemons, Peppers|
|November||Apples, Almonds, Walnuts, Grapes, Asian Pears, Avocados, Poinsettias, Pomegranates, Pumpkins, Cucumbers, Peppers|
|December||Almonds, Walnuts, Oranges, Grapes, Avocados, Poinsettias, Pomegranates, Cucumbers|
Head somewhere to stretch your legs and let the kids and/or dogs get their wiggles out!
Children’s Garden at Valley Children’s Healthcare
East La Loma Community Park – Modesto
Check out these local farms and pick your own fresh fruit (or flowers)!
How to Pick the Best Fruit
Not sure how to pick the ripest fruit? Read our tips below!
Here are some tips for picking the best stone fruit:
- Look for firm fruit that gives slightly to pressure. Avoid fruit that is too soft or mushy, as it may be overripe.
- Smell the fruit. Ripe stone fruit should have a sweet, fragrant aroma.
- Check for color. Different varieties of stone fruit have different color ranges, but in general, look for fruit that is brightly colored and free of blemishes or bruises.
- Check the stem end. The stem end should be slightly soft, indicating that the fruit is ripe.
- For cherries, look for plump fruit with shiny, smooth skin. Avoid cherries that are soft, wrinkled, or have blemishes.
- For plums and apricots, gently press the fruit with your fingers. If it feels slightly soft and gives to pressure, it is ripe.
Here are some tips for picking the best berries:
- Look for berries that are brightly colored, plump, and shiny. Avoid berries that are dull, discolored, or shriveled.
- Smell the berries. Ripe berries should have a sweet, fragrant aroma.
- Check for any signs of mold or spoilage. Berries that have mold or soft spots should be avoided.
- Gently squeeze the berries to test for ripeness. They should be firm but slightly soft and give to pressure.
- For strawberries, look for berries that are fully red, with no white or green areas around the stem. The stem should be fresh and green.
- For raspberries and blackberries, look for berries that are plump and firm, with no sign of wrinkling or sagging.
- For blueberries, look for berries that are plump, firm, and uniformly colored. The berries should have a slight gray-blue “bloom” on the surface.
Keep in mind that different varieties of fruits may have slightly different characteristics, so it’s a good idea to ask the seller or do some research to determine the best way to judge ripeness for the specific type of produce you are buying. Additionally, it’s important to handle fruit gently and avoid bruising or crushing them, as this can cause them to spoil more quickly.
Off The Beaten Path
We love these local spots – and we think you will too!
Sons Farm Fresh: “I actually went to high school with the oldest ‘SON’ Madison, and it’s amazing to me what she and her siblings have built. This farm stand is run by four siblings who expanded on selling their farm fresh eggs and their passion for agriculture. It’s very refreshing to see people my age making such an impact on our community. Their staff is just as friendly, and always willing to help you pick the ripest products.” – Kate
Bella Viva Orchards: “This is hands-down some of the best dried fruit I have ever had (yes – there’s a difference)! The shop is adorable and they have amazing gift baskets for purchase for any quick gift needs you may have. Add the great customer service and the abundance of different dried fruits and nuts they have, and this shop is definitely a can’t-miss!” – Elyse
The Wood Colony Farm Stand: “This self-serve farm stand is simply adorable, and a treasure among locals. They are well known for their flowers, pre-made bouquets, and selection of fruits! Last year they hosted a fall crawl with local businesses and tons of adorable pumpkins to choose from, and it was a blast.” – Kate
Ranch Hand by Slick Fork: “This restaurant is a newer hidden gem in my hometown of Hughson, and I have had the BEST hamburgers here every time I’ve gone! Although I’m a cheeseburger fiend, they have plenty of other options from amazing wings to juicy steak and craft beers on tap. They also have a great patio area that I can’t wait to use during the spring and summer!” – Elyse
Ott Farms: “Last year I went to visit their cherry orchards and they DID NOT disappoint! The cherries I picked were so ripe and delicious. I honestly got carried away while picking them, so I left with my bucket full, and I was giving away cherries the whole next week like they were candy. I took myself on this ag adventure solo and it was a great experience – though I did see many families having a ball filling their buckets with mounds of blueberries and cherries.” – Kate
Dragonfly Tea Room: “This gem is one spot you could do some shopping, have a casual meet up with friends, or splurge for a spectacular themed tea experience complete with accompanying fare. Hot or cold, this is an experience for anyone!” – Kristin
Last Call Brewing Company: “I love this spot, it’s a go to for me and my friends.” – Kate
Galletto Ristorante: “In the heart of downtown you’ve got one of the most memorable restaurants you may ever visit. The décor of this historic building, the patio with a fireplace, fountains and bocce ball, the unbelievable wine list, and one of the best whisky and spirit bars, all pale in comparison to the incredible food and service. Whether a romantic dinner or taking the kids for the fire-baked pizzas, you won’t be disappointed.” – Todd
Commonwealth: “My husband and I actually had our first date here many years ago, so this place has a special spot in my heart. Not only do they have an incredible beer selection, but their food is delicious as well!” – Elyse
Modesto Certified Farmers Market: “This farmers market not only has options, but those options are the freshest and best around – on display in a charming and inviting atmosphere that celebrates the culture and offerings of our community.” – Kristin
Picnic at the POPS: “This Modesty Symphony Orchestra annual September event is a favorite of the locals that even the most seasoned connoisseur of the arts should not miss. Imagine the best concert you could dream up with a picnic basket in hand… now add in the buzz of a riveted crowd aged 1 to 100 with all of them on their feet and singing. Look up tickets now. You won’t want to miss it.” – Kristin
Wildfire Public House: “Bacon Pickle Pizza…yes that’s a thing and you don’t want to miss this tasty appetizer. It’s great for sharing so you save room for all the other great dishes too! Try the It’s Lit Margarita (yes on fire!)…and don’t forget to take pics!” – Kate
Magnolia Southern Kitchen: “Trace’s commitment to her craft and passion for people can be tasted in every bite no matter what you order. Comfort food worthy of being called “southern style” but proudly present in Modesto is not to be missed. And whatever you do, save room for cobbler!” – Anthony
Bloomingcamp Ranch: “I’ve been baking since I was young with my grandparents, so I am definitely picky when it comes to purchasing baked goods – and I have never been disappointed by anything I’ve gotten here! The menu changes depending on what is fresh and there is a plethora of options from fruit pies to sandwiches to cookies to pot pies, and many more. I always ensure I order ahead online so I secure my goodies, and I always include the apple dumplings because they are TO DIE FOR!” – Elyse
Mocha Magic: “Mocha Magic is my neighborhood café version of “Cheers”. The staff is so welcoming and there’s something for everyone including gluten-free and vegan sweets, precious goodies for your pooch, specialty confections, and savory sandwiches and soups that plant a smile in your soul. ” – Kristin
Camp 4 Wine Cafe: “Camp4 is one of my favorite spots for a “Me Date”! Don’t get me wrong… it is a great place for groups and events, but I love to indulge in their latest Pinot Freezio and try whatever’s in season on the charcuterie board.” – Kristin
Prospect Theater Project: “There’s something spectacularly enthralling about an intimate setting for a theatre production and PTP delivers a course of brilliance with a healthy side of hospitality at every show.” – Anthony
Picasso’s Gourmet Deli & Art: “I’m a sandwich guy and since I’ve moved to Modesto, Jordi’s place has been my go-to for a GREAT sandwich. The freshest lunch in town and you get to view his artwork on display while you wait!” – Todd
Twisted Pig Bar & Grill: “This little joint is packed with flavor and character. Inventive but non-pretentious menu options about. Ask for extra napkins and go at it. You won’t be disappointed.” – Kate
Modesto Grub Hubs Food Truck Park: “Do you have a family who can never decide on where to eat because of differing tastes? Then this is the place for you! Pupusas? Got ’em! Tepanyaki? Definitely! Churros? You bet! You get the point. There are so many options here and everything I’ve had so far has been delicious.” – Elyse
Mr. T’s Donuts: “This place is a Modesto institution! Not only have they been on national lists for some of the best donut shops in the country, but they are beloved by locals. They are also open 24 hours, so you can grab fresh donuts whenever the craving hits!” – Anthony
Piccadilly Deli: “Sandwiches may seem uninspired to some, but Piccadilly’s paninis are a reason to take a stroll and enjoy your lunch! My personal favorite is the Pancho Villa… It tastes like comfort food pressed between bread, with a little spice.” – Kristin
Sciabica Family Olive Oil: “I recommend calling in advance to find out if someone will be available when you plan to go to conduct an olive oil tasting. Then save room in the trunk, as you’ll leave with at least four new flavors for your salads, baking and grilling! After my first tasting I started cooking my eggs with extra virgin olive oil and now I don’t ever use butter. Plus, they’ve got the new Track 24 Brewery adjacent to the tasting room…what more do you need!” – Todd
Food Fix Butcher and Baker: “Another local restaurant with an incredible beer selection! Once you’re done pondering over all of your beer choices, there’s a menu that has sandwiches made with fresh baked bread and rotating menu items dependent on what is fresh – plus a case of baked goods! You could easily grab a beer and some lunch here and then spend all afternoon talking to the friendly staff or people watching out on their patio.” – Elyse
The State Theatre: “If you don’t live in the Bay Area or Los Angeles, it can be tough to see limited-release movies and smaller independent projects. The State gives film fans a chance to catch these movies in a beautiful location that’s been a part of Modesto history since 1934. If you’re like me and want to watch every movie nominated for an Oscar in any given year, or you’re just looking to support a theater that goes above and beyond what the bigger chains are doing, The State Theatre is the place to be.” – Anthony
Oakdale Cheese & Specialties: “Oh My Gosh! Every cheese is incredible. There are aged cheeses that rival parmesan (and can be used as substitutes), my cheese curdfriends LOVE the cheese curds, the fresh made grilled cheese sandwich is yummy…plus you can buy your goodies, including wine, and dine outside where the little ones can run around and check out the animals too!” – Todd
Stewart & Jasper Orchards: “I love wine tasting with cheese at Stewart and Jasper. I get to buy my almond goodies on the way out too!” – Kristin
J & J Ramos Farmstand: “You can’t go wrong while shopping here! They have everything from fresh fruit to baked goods to honey and more.” – Elyse
Ferrareses Deli: “This gem is more than meets the eye, you won’t be sorry you stopped there… even if there’s a wait” – Kate
Preservation Coffee & Tea: “If you like strong coffee and a touch of nostalgia, then this is the coffee shop for you! Delicious coffee with a side of VHS tapes playing daily. My personal favorite is the Contractor.” – Elyse
Divine Swine Grill & Bar: “This is my go to place for the best whisky selection paired with the best BBQ sit down meal in town. Outdoor, indoor, at the bar…there’s not a bad seat and you can watch the game while getting your fingers sticky with sauce! ” – Todd
Rodin Ranch Farmers’ Market – Downtown Modesto: “I’m good for at least one 8oz pack of almonds or cashews a week. Add the salads, hummus, whipped feta (get the dried green beans for dipping) and Marie’s home-made fruit drinks and you’ll be there weekly too.” – Elyse
Taqueria El Maguey: “Our go-to Mexican restaurant. Everything is fresh, everything is good. This is authentic and delicious. Lunch on the patio before a cruise is ideal!” – Todd
Papapolloni Mediterranean Bistro: “I’m a sucker for great Mediterranean food and Papapolloni’s never disappoints.” – Anthony
8th Street Taco Trucks: “My kids don’t come back to Modesto without stopping here. They are the favorite of regulars who drive the 99 and locals alike! ” – Todd
Cahoots Corner Cafe: “I grew up going there and to put it simply, Cahoots never gets old. The hometown vibes and pride are very welcoming and wholesome.” – Kate
Village Baking Company & Cafe: “If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must try! They have AMAZING baked goods – if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will!” – Elyse
Village Butcher: “Matt and his crew are incredible, I never can decide which sandwich is better and I find I always leave with something fresh from the butcher case for dinner!” – Todd
The Fruit Yard: “OK, these BBQ sandwiches are ‘to die for’ – eat ‘em there, take ‘em on the road, grab a pie…doesn’t matter, it’s all soooo good. If you are there late in the day, grab the ‘family dinner’ BBQ to-go and the whole family will be happy!” – Todd
Marsella Family Vineyards: “This detour is definitely worth taking, but make sure to call for an appointment! I mean, who doesn’t love a wine tasting paired with amazing views.” – Kate