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Stories from the valley

Sodaro Orchards

Contributed by Steve Beckley

Peaches have always been one of my summer favorite fruits and, when I was growing up in Colusa County, my family always went over to Yuba and Sutter Counties to get them. I continue that tradition by going to Sodaro Orchards Fruit Stand north of Marysville on Highway 70 to purchase them.

Sodaro 1

I had the opportunity to visit with Josh and Sara Baggett, the operators of the orchard and fruit stand. Sara parents John and Jody Sodaro operated the stand until 2008 when Josh and Sara took over. Josh’s late father was Bill Baggett, a Colusa rice farmer whom I knew many years ago when he lived in Grimes. Josh also farms rice in the District 10 area of Marysville with his brother.

Sodaro 2

The family tradition of fruit stands started with Sara’s great grandfather in Nebraska, with a stop in Sunnyvale, and finally settling in Marysville in 1960s. It has always been a family operation, with Josh’s and Sara’s children: Austin, Alyssa, and Ashley being the fifth generation of the Sodaro Family to work at the stand.

All the fruit they grow is sold at the stand. They grow over 25 varieties of peaches, plus nectarines, pluots, plums and melons. The peach season starts in early June and continues until September. They also sell sweet corn and almonds. What drew me to their stand is they grow Fay Elberta peaches and you can bet that I’ll make a stop in early August to get some of these great heritage peaches!

Sodaro 3

One of the unique things about Sodaro Orchards is the signs that tell people not to squeeze the peaches. Sara told me it as her grandfather that started to put up the signs as he did not want people squeezing the peaches. Their fruit is tree ripened and ready to be eaten. They are more than happy to let you taste the fruit they have available.

I consider Sodaro a farm to consumer operation, as the fruit does not need a fork. Just purchase it, wash it at a sink that they have available, and enjoy. That sink is also handy to wash off the juice you have on your face and hands from all the samples that are available for tasting.