– California grows approximately 35,000 tons or nearly 100% of all domestically produced apricots that are canned, frozen or dried.
– California also has a thriving fresh apricot harvest, which supplies California grocers and local farmer’s markets, as well as US grocers with hand-picked fruit for about 4-6 weeks starting each June.
– The most widely-grown variety, the Patterson Apricot, is known for sweetly-tart taste and slight firmness, making it ideal for canning, freezing and drying.
– Blenhiem, an heirloom variety is also still grown, but only in limited quantities, as the Patterson variety has proven to be a bit heartier. Longtime apricot lovers still search out Blehneims in specialty markets.
– For the fresh market, XX and XX are the most popular varieties…MULTIPLE FOR FIRST PART OF SEASON; PATTERSON FOR SECOND HALF OF SEASON. Over 1,145,000 packages (21-22 lb cases) SAY INSTEAD 12,000-20,000 TONS for fresh apricots are delivered to markets, such as Trader Joe’s, during their short summer season.
– All apricot varieties can be eaten out of hand, or put into tarts, pies, crisps, put into smoothies fresh or halved, pitted and frozen for enjoyment later.
– Pluots—a cross between a plum and an apricot. With their smooth red and golden skin, the fruit resemble a speckled plum and can be enjoyed in many ways. DAVE WILSON NURSERY SELLS MORE—GO TO THEIR WEBSITE REFERENCE THE URL
– Full Bloom—after the trees have rested during the winter thanks to the all important “freezing hours,” bloom occurs typically anytime between mid February to early March.
– Harvest—looking at the past 20 years, harvest historically took place the end of the first week or the second week in June. Thanks to rising temperatures, harvest for the past three years has started the last week in May or on June 1st.