Red flame seedless grapes are among the fresh fruit available at the Lone Oak Ranch booth in the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market. (photos by John Gregory)
Flavor loaded fruit at the Farmer’s Market
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is known for its fresh produce transported to the market by California farmers and sold at booths each Saturday. The great selection offers shoppers an opportunity to provide healthy selections for their dinner table. It also allows local foodies a convenient way to acquire fresh ingredients for their culinary creations.
A prime example is the Lone Oak Ranch booth. A recent sampling of fresh fruits included pink lady apples, yellow peaches, red flame seedless grapes, pomegranates, Asian pears, green plums and flavor punched pluots. A pluot (for those who are not up-to-date on modern hybrid fruits) is a cross between a plum and an apricot.
Lone Oak Ranch is located in Reedley, California, a small town between Fresno and Bakersfield, according to Meredith Bailey. The farm pays someone to transport its produce all the way to San Diego, and Bailey sets up the booth, arranges the produce and helps the customers each week. Bailey said the owners of Loan Oak Ranch are friends of her family.
“The produce from Lone Oak Ranch comes direct from the farm, is all organic and free of pesticides,” Bailey said. All the items are sold by weight, usually with one set price for all the fruits. A couple of weeks ago, the price was $3.50 per pound, for example.
The Lone Oak Ranch booth has a surprisingly large selection, and regular customers have their favorites.
“People love our peaches, usually,” Bailey said. “My personal favorites, I love the grapes and the pomegranates. Our green plums are awesome as well.”
Some might feel that pomegranates can be a frustrating fruit to eat fresh. Cutting out the small, juicy seeds is often difficult and time-consuming. Bailey explained that there is a proper way to cut them open and extract the seeds, but some might rather juice the pomegranates.
“I just like to rip them open,” she said. “In a few weeks, we’ll start selling the pomegranate juice again, and it has no sugar added. It’s awesome.”
The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is open for shoppers from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.