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Stories from the valley

Fruits of Summer

Contributed by Jennifer Harrison

Summer is heating up and so is the stone fruit. Peaches, plums, and apricots grow well in the Sacramento Valley, with its warm climate and rich soil. Getting these sweet treats from farm to face (as in mouth) is never easier than in June, July, and August. Why? Fruit stands. Our region is full of them. In this unprecedented summer, where road trips may replace plane trips, a trek to the fruit stand may be just what the taste buds ordered. When you head out, please keep in mind social distancing and the state’s face mask order.

First stop, Winters. 

boxes of white peaches and trailmix at farmers market

Three Generations at Double R Ranch Fruit Stand

Over forty years ago the late Rudy Rodriguez started the Double R Ranch Fruit Stand in Winters. Rodriguez was a teacher and coach at local schools and used his summer break to sell fruit from the family orchard. His three sons, now grown, spent summers helping at the fruit stand, and eventually, son Marc, who also became a teacher, took over. Today, it’s grandchildren along with grandmother and family matriarch Linda, who help customers from near and far.  

Tradition and Taste

People visit from hundreds of miles away. Located just off the 505 (9224 Gaddini Road in Winters) it’s a popular pit stop for people traveling through the golden state to neighboring Oregon. Over the years they’ve also come by other modes of transportation. 

“Years ago a customer from Napa would fly in to load up on boxes and boxes of fruit for his mom to use for canning. We’d meet him at an airport and put the fruit right into the plane and he’d fly off” explained Linda. 

boxes of white peaches at farmers market

Large boxes of fruit continue to be hot commodities. I witnessed two go out the doors during my visit alone.  

“The plums are very popular, and I like helping people pick out their fruit,” said both Anne and Ashley Rodriguez; cousins who make up the youngest generation of the fruit stand crew. 

Double R Ranch sells their plums and donut peaches, grown on the premises, as well as fruit, nuts, corn, and other items from local growers. They are open daily 9 am-5 pm through Labor Day. Bring an empty stomach, as sampling is welcomed!

 Hungry for More?

Family fruit stands pepper the valley. They share a common theme of friendly service and top quality locally grown goods. Hit these additional Sacramento Valley sweet spots:  Sodaro’s Fruit StandTony’s Fruit StandBremmers Farm, Stephens’ Farmhouse and Barb’s Produce Stand.